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Full text of "Omni Magazine (November 1978)"









November 1978 

Tiie cover art for this month's 
OMNI is an imaginative portrait 
entitled Li 1. Painted in 1974 by the 
Swiss 'fantastic realist' H.R. Qiger, 
it appears in Giger's first book 
Nec'cnon-icon. p'-ioiished last 
month by Big O Publishing, Ltd. 





Publisher s :~ace 


















Comment ■ 









Data Bank 








Lloyd Biggie. Jr. 







Ted Nelson 




Timothy Bay 




Leigh Kennedy 




Tabitha M, Powledge 







Wallace Ellerbroek 




Bob Guccione 




William G. Shepherd 




John Lilly 








Lyall Watson 




Stuart Diamond 




Roman Vishniac 




Scot Morris 


where— S30.0Oone 

itWfao can put a 
dollar value on the 
tremendous uplifting 
of the human spirit 
that occurred on 
July 20, 1969, when 
Neil Armstrong 
walked on the surface 

In last month's OMNI, science writer Aiton 
: Blakeslee reported on astronomers' ef- 

■ forts to detect intelligent signals from 

■ outer space. The implications of such 
-contact, and the dialogues that must in- 
evitably follow, are enormous, almost too 
staggering to conceive. Imagine the 
questions we could ask a visiting extra- : 
terrestrial: Do you have a cure for can- 
cer? is there life after death? Are the 
physical laws in your part of the universe 
the same as in ours? Is there a way to 
overcome the burden of gravity, prolong 
youth, exceed the speed of light . . .? 
Think of the things we could learn, among 
them, as Carl Sagan put it, how "possibly' 
to avoid the dangers of the period of 
■technological.- adolescence we are. now 
passing through." 

Yet despite the obvious benefits to be 
reaped from such contact, there exista 
vociferous few who appear to oppose any 
and all efforts to make it. Most notable, of 
course, is Wisconsin senator William 
'Proxmire, who this winter gave one of his 
infamous Golden Fleece awards to the 
National Aeronautics and Space Admin- 
istration; which, "riding the wave of popu- 
lar enthusiasm for Siar Wars and Close 
Encounters of the Third Kind, is propos- 
ing to spend $14 to-$1 5 million over the 
next' seven -years to try to find intelligent 
.life in outer space. In my view," said Prox- 
mire, "this project should be postponed 
■■ for. a million light-years. " 

Following this attack on NASA, a sub- 
committee of the House Commilr.ee on 
Appropriations (chaired by Representa- 
tive Edward RBoIand) recommended 
thai the fiscal year 1979 budget for 
NASA's search for extraterrestrial inielli- 
' gence (SET! proiect) be cut from $2 mil- 
lion/to $600,000. (The final decision is 
now before the House.) As one NASA offi- 
cial put ft, "This is not enough even to 
start design work on the antennae." 

The SET! .project is not the only golden 
space opportunity to be fleeced by Prox- 
mire. Funds for the Solar-Polar Orbiter (a 
spacecraft designed to fly over the poles 
ofthe sun) were. cut as were funds slated 
to outfit .[he Enterprise {the space shuttle 
(hat flew from a 747 in recent atmo- 
spheric tests) for space. As one writer put 
it, the cuts left "barely enough to keep the 
Enterprise from, being cannibalized for 
spare parts.". Similarly, Proxmire vigor- 
ously opposed the Apollo- Soy uz rendez- 
vous on the ground that the Russians 
were somehow inferior- to us in aero- 
space. He seems blind to the fact that the 

Russians were there iirsL with Sputnik 
and that while the Soviets a.-e regularly 
sending men into space, we remain 
about as. airworthy, as a prize Kentucky 
swine with paper wings. 
■ The arguments behind this deprecia- •■- 
tiqnof the Space program are simple— 
thepfogram itself is too expensive, we 
get too little for the money spent, : and, 
'besides, it-could. be better deployed 
on such things as medical research. 
' The arguments are. o> course, 
specious. "., 

Firsi, i: is diifiC'u : t fomakeacasefor 
spending toomuch money- on the -space 
program since' the Department'of Health, 
Education and Welfare spends the equtv-r ■ 
alent bfihe total NASA budget every 
eight days: 

Second, wo gn', 3 great deal for the .,■■■ 
money we do. spend. The development of 
i- 1 tes alone, art ad- ■■ 
vance that has-done more for human un- ' 
derstan ding, than all Unsocial welfare . 
projects funded to date, would seem ' 
worth the cost. Moreover, who. can put a * 
dollar. Value on the tremendous, uplifting 
ofthe human spirit that occurred on July 
20, 1969, when Nei! Armstrong walked On 
the surface of the moon? 

Finally, it is foolish to think that money 
cur from the space-program will actually 
be used to better the quality of life here 
on earth. Lumped under the general cate-" 
gory of "defense," more than 60 percent . 
of the federal budget for research and . : 
development,. for example, sril: goes io 
th.e creation of newer and more' sdphisti- ... 
cated means of destruction. Similarly, we 
now spend the equivalent of NASA's en- 
tire bucget to- develop the conventional " : . 
methods of generating nuclear energy, an 
enterprise that is risky at best. . '■' ■""". 

Yet the budgets continue to be cut , and ." 
Senator Proxmire continues to dispense. . 
his. Golden Fleece awards in what seems, 
to.bea propensity for buffoonery, It may ■ 
be entertaining-— if not vote fetching — to 
award the Golden Fleece to ah FAA study 
unfortunately titled "The Anthropometry of 
Airline Stewardesses." Prdxmire gave 
such an award in 1 976. The fungpes out 
of it, however, when you learn how many 
flight attendants have been killed or inca- 
pacitated because of outdated equip- 
ment described in that same FAA" study. ' 

The existence of such things as. 
Proxmire's Golden Fleece awards poses 
one of the .most profound and enigmatic 
questions of our tfme. . . Is there, intelli- 
gent life on. the .planet earth? DQ 



I can never speak with you again." That's 
what Dr. Willem Kolff, head of the 
University of Utah's artificial organs 
division, told our reporter Dick Teresi after 
reading a pre-publication copy of "The 
Real Bionic Man" [page 44], Kolff was 
upset because he believes that some of 
the information in the story — never before 
published — is too revealing and could be 
used against him by his competitors in the 
fight for government grant money. 

The battle for funds in the bionic world is 
particularly fierce. There are four major 
research centers building artificial hearts 
and a whole slew of universities, clinics, 
and hospitals hard at work developing 
artificial limbs, eyes, ears, skin, blood 
vessels, and other organs. 

But at the top of the bionic heap is the 
wild bunch at Salt Lake City, headquarters 
of the University of Utah. The school has 
snared $8.4 million in grants for 1978, 
thanks to Kolff and a staff of profoundly 
creative bioengineers. Too creative, say 
some of the university's critics, who feel 
that many Utah projects are too far out and 
that Kolff's hopes for them, too optimistic. 

Yet when Teresi, an award-winning 
public affairs reporter, visited Salt Lake, he 
found the Utah group to be a sober team 
of researchers — with realistic goals, the 
technology, and brilliance to accomplish 
them. Their stories will convince you that 
the creation- of "bionic people" is not as 
crazy as it seems. 

Several years ago, a charming young 
woman walked into Dr. Wallace 

Ellerbroek's office. She was prudish, 
sexually inexperienced, and the glands in 
her neck were chronically swollen. Then 
she met a man. . . and her swollen 
glands disappeared. Then she found out 
the man was married. And the swollen 
glands returned. It is the theory of 
Ellerbroek, who is both a surgeon and a 
psychiatrist, that this woman is not 
unusual. All of us, he says, get sick or stay 
healthy because of how we feel 
emotionally, how we think, and how we 
talk. His strong case for the connection of 
"Language, Emotion and Disease" begins 
on page 92. (Dr Ellerbroek is a staff 
psychiatrist at Metropolitan State Hospital 
in Norwalk, California, but the ideas he 
expresses in Omni are not necessarily 
those of the California State Department of 

"There are human vampires," writes 
Lyall Watson, an animal behaviorist who 
also holds degrees in biology and 
anthropology. But his statement doesn't 
mean what you probably think it does. 
Watson is a legitimate scientist trying to 
make sense out of the supernatural. He 
talks about ESP, ouija boards, 
reincarnation, psi-trailing, and how we are 
all vampires in "Lifetides" [page 112]. 

Test tube babies have dominated 
headlines for the past several months, but 
Tabitha Powledge thinks they'll prove to be 
a short-lived phenomenon — and 
deservedly so. "Too much fuss about 
making babies." she says, "and not 
enough effort to take care of the kids we've 

3, of the Hastings Center's 
Institute for Society. Ethics and the Life , 
Sciences, tells her side of the story 
beginning on page 76. 

And speaking of short-lived 
phenomena, we sent writer Timothy Bay 
up to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to 
check out the Center for Short-Lived 
Phenomena [page 64], The Center has 
correspondents all over the world 
reporting on hurricanes, earthquakes, bird 
kills, frog wars, "rogue waves," and 
anything else unusual, catastrophic, 
or. , , short-lived. 

Our key book excerpt this month is 
"Communicating with Dolphins" [page 
104] by the dolphin-man himself, JotmUlfy. 

What's Alvin Toffler been up to lately? 
Omni editor and publisher Bob Guccione 
found the author of Future Shock alive and 
well and still predicting the future. Among 
other things, Toffler says we'll be taking a 
giant step into the ocean soon — not only 
growing our crops there but building our 
own custom-made islands [page 96]. 

And don't miss our exclusive interview 
with Gregory Peck. He talks about cloning 
and his role in the movie The Boys from 
Brazil with James Delson , Omni's film and 
tv critic. Delson is a screenwriter and 
owner of one of the largest private film 
research archives in the U.S. Writing on 
books is Robert Anton Wilson, author of 
Cosmic Trigger and co-author of the 
llluminatus trilogy, currently being staged 
for the theater. Read both Delson and 
Wilson in "The Arts" [page 28], OO 


editor & publisher 


associate publisher 



aoo Guccions (chairman and president) 

Kalhy Keetor. (senior vicn-prnsitteni) 

-win i R li'.an lexecu'ive vice-president) 

XnthonyJ. Guccions (s^crera'y-'reasurer) 


■:.J:'.5.^m,'I Suzanne S-'.-iSPSF: Olrs-ne PJ;a. C;y:',- 
-Mors Carol/- Giaealana. Gk'-a E. Gran!; 
onlributing Ediiory. Won'? Davis, Dr :>n=ic|jlier 
vans, Dan Fabun, Dr Patrick Moore OBE, Scot 
Morris, Barbara Seaman, William K. Stuckey 
n Dirrctir. F.'ank jevinr.- ■'^sociaie A;i Dnec'.cr 
v:la Chv-ai: .Oss'O.'^r Penny SJLi.erran; P/;o:c 

i; Staff Phob 


Vort Beverley Wardale; Omni Publications In- 
itional Ltd., 909 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y. 
10022. Tel. {212i 593-333 I r'olux no. 2371 28. 
"" ' -est (Norm Kamikow> Omni Publications mter- 
nal Ltd., 111 East WacKer Drive. Suite 2036, 
Chcaoi... II i;-ois 60601 --■ 13'.*; 565-0466; Detroit: 
(Chrisline Meyers) Tel. (313) B55-B427; Omni Publi- 
:aiions Ini^'nsiir.ns' I. iii V/en; Coast (Robert J. 

3-roadway, San Franc-sco. Giiromia 94104. Tel. 
(415)929-7575. U.K. & Europe; (Peter Goldsmith) 
Omni Publications Led, 68 Uppei Bcicicv SI.. Lon- 
rVIH 7DH, Enqland. Tel. (01) 262-0331 . Telex 
no. 919B65. 
York 909 Third Avenue. New York, N.Y. 10022. 
Tel. (212) 593-3301 Tele* nc 337128. West Coast 
8732 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 
90069. Tel. (213) 662 S3 TO London 2 Bramber 
Road, West Kensington. London W14 9PB, Eng- 
land. Tel (01) 385-6181. Telex no. 919865 
Omni Publications Ltd. 
(U.K. S European Editions! 
Managing Director: Gerard Van der Leun; Advertis- 
ing Director: 

c Re/a; 


Washington, D.C.: William R. Corson, 1707 H Sirs 

— /., Washington. DC Berlin: Hans-Hotw Enz'i 

sse 1 . Berlin 45 Herz'.<» P.,'ih I ponai c Si.--- 

David Hamelech St., HwzBa Wu» i IS Una de 



Strategic Gases 

I was one of those passing through Kan- 
sas in August near McDonnell Air Force 
Base, when I saw that mile-long orange 
cloud ot gas blowing across the sky. I 
barely escaped being poisoned by the 
toxic stuff, which I later found out was ni- 
trogen tetroxide leaking from a Titan mis- 
sile silo. I'd like to see an article in Omni on 
how strategic arms affect our daily lives 
and the dangers these missiles present to 
the people they are supposed to protect. 
Marcus Littlefeather 
Boulder, CO 

Urban Desires 

As an urban designer, I would like to know 
what concepts and ideas are being devel- 
oped for the future of cities; what explora- 
tions are being made towards designing 
cities that are more workable, functional — 
like Disney World with its superetficient in- 
frastructure; what the technical pos- 
sibilities are of expanding human personal 
space, both habitats and work places. 

Homer Bruce 
New York, NY 

Running Into the Future 

Why not run a story on jogging as it 
applies to physical maintenance pro- 
grams in the year 2000? 

John Bartlett 
Boston, MA 

Look for a story on "Future Sports" in an 
upcoming issue. — Ed. 

More to Come 

in promotional material about your new 
Omni I notice that you are printing stories 
by Theodore Sturgeon, James B. Hall and 
Ron Goulart all in one issue' All three are 
terrific writers. And Ron Goulart, creator of 
Star Hawks, is just as powerful behind a 
piece of prose fiction. I hope that this kind 
of an SF lineup is a promise of things to 

Bill Grant 
Los Angeles, CA 
Tigronsand Jagards 
I have heard it is possible to bring about 
hybrids between the large, closely related 

mammalian species, especially sub- 
species maintained in captivity. Zoologists 
have successfully crossed tigers with lions 
(thus obtaining a "tigron" or "tiglon") and 
jaguars with leopards. Please run some 
photographs of these animals. 

Gail Schwartz 
St. Louis. MO 

Omni is planning a feature on future ani- 
mals coming up soon. — Ed. 

Ripped Off 

I'm pleased that there's a new science 

magazine on the market, but I do hope 
you'll avoid a common mistake. I'm talking 
about giving credit to the wrong people. 
I'm a research chemist working in the lab - 
of a large university On no fewer than six 
occasions over the past five years, my col- 
leagues and I have been ignored in news 
releases about projects we gave our 
hearts and souls lo (not to mention our 
evenings and weekends). Credit is always 
given to our department head, who frankly 
never visits the lab unless he wants to bum 
a cigarette. Most of us who "do science" 
do it because we love it, not because we 
want publicity. But it hurts sometimes 
when our work is ripped off to help make 
someone else's career. 

Name withheld by request 

We're well aware of this problem — and it is 
our policy to go directly to the researchers 
involved when reporting on new 
developments. — Ed. 

Ballpark Cult 

When archaeologists of the future dig up 
one of today's sports pages and read, 

"Star sacrifices with fly in infield," will 
they think that our ballparks were 
religious centers? 

Frank Gambardelo 
New Brunswick, NJ 


I saw the advertisements for Omni, and 

I'm looking forward to buying it every 
month from now to the year 2000. 

Salvador Gonzales 
Taos, NM 

Why do you plan to slop then? 




By Kenneth and David Brower 

I fly whales," said Charles Hubbard, 
shaking hands. 7 fly spitfires," said his 
manner and dress, which were devil- 

n London, where 
the 30th annual meeting of the Interna- 
tional Whaling Commission (IWC) was 
about to convene. Hubbard was one of 
those types that whale conferences draw. 
Slight, blond, and bearded, he had a 
patch over one eye and a flask of brandy 
in his hand. He wore what could have 
passed for a flight jacket. The emblem on 
the shoulder said "Flo." 

Flo is the largest of the whales that 
Hubbard flies. She is, he explained to me 
fondly, a humpback 33-meters long and 
five-stories high, and she carries a gon- 
dola under her belly. Deflated and crated, 
she is much more compact than that but 
still too large to send trom California to 
London. Hubbard brought along several 
smaller models instead. Made of Ripstop 
fabric, they are pumped full of com- 
pressed air, the air is heated, and the 
whales rise. Fumes from the heater and 

excess pressure are vented, and Hub- 
bard, in directing the venting, gains a 
small measure of control. The flights are 
tethered, and all his effort goes to keep- 
ing the whale's head to the wind. The last 
thing a whale-pilot wants, he said, is to 
have his ship swinging broadside to the 
breeze and "kiting. " Hubbard has no 
training as a pilot or balloonist. All he nav- 
igates is whales, and he has learned by 
trial and error. He had been invited to 
London to fly missions at various save- 
the-whale demonstrations to be held 
around town. 

Hubbard sat and unfolded a map of 
-London, With his thumbnail he traced the 
course he planned to fly the next day 
down the Thames, his thumb dipping 
three times to indicate passage under 
bridges. Then he folded the map again. 
He sighed and set about filling out flight 
plans. To fly whales legally in London, one 
must complete a stack of forms and ap- 
plications. Dirigible whales may soar, but 
not high enough to slip the tethers of 

i bcaoh provide*. :t':e dac^-d-op to: ;/-,.■ s a. 'is.' 9 graveyard, strewn '-■>■ 

ijr.nc tr.?rn end to end. 

Hubbard worked fast — clearly he was 
good at this paper aspect of his work — 
but after five minutes the romantic in him 
rebelled. He looked up at me. In the com- 
ing week, he confided, he would do all 
the flying legally permitted him, then 
maybe a bit more. 

What else? I wondered. Buzz Parlia- 
ment? Buzz the . . . Queen? Hubbard 
smiled and wouldn't say. 

About real whales Charles Hubbard 
was poorly informed. In the fin of a whale, 
he told me, there are five bits of gristle 
where fingers once were — strong evi- 
dence that whales once were land ani- 
mals. The truth is even better than that, 
Charles. There are finger bones in the 
fins of whales. And no one, unless it's ' 
some fundamentalist jury in Tennessee, 
doubts that the ancestors of whales once 
lived on land. 

In sleep, Charles Hubbardwas a tooth- 

I know, because we were roommates 
for a night; Hubbard kept me awake for 
hours. What, I wondered, is he dreaming? 
Then, suddenly, I saw it, as clearly as if it 
had been my own. An enormous whale, a 
humpback the size of the Hindenburg, 
swung slowly, slowly broadside to the 
wind, and I, Charles Hubbard the pilot, 
frantic at the controls but unable to turn 
her, felt her begin to kite. 

Hubbard's copilot in London was Steve 
Sipman, a former dolphinkeeper. Sipman, 
like Hubbard, is American. 

On first arriving in England, Steve Sip- 
man was aggressively low-browed, as if 
to discourage the British from roping him 
into tea and crumpets or tinkehng with his 
accent. When I first saw him, he was 
sprawled on a sofa in southeast London, 
conspicuously scratching himself and 
discussing his criminal past. 

Sipman's crime was grand theft. On 
May 29, 1977, on the island of Oahu, he 
and another dolphinkeeper, Kenneth 
LeVasseur, drained the tanks of their two 
charges, Puka and Kea, Atlantic bottle- 
nosed dolphins, the subjects of language 
experiments at the University of Hawaii. 

On the night of the "liberation," the 
moon was full. The Milky Way bridged the . 

subtropical sky. "We ate peanut butter 
and honey, and drank black, black cot- 
fee," Sipman remembers. "Puka was 
pretty hep. She just lay back and said, 'I 
know I'm going someplace, and it's got to 
be better than the tank.' We got to this se- 
cluded beach on the tar side of the is- 
land, and we carried them down to the 
water, I swam out on a surfboard to say 
good-bye. I didn't get so much as a 
thanks, even." 

He and LeVasseur returned to the van, 
and for the rest of the night they just 
drove around the island, figuring it would 
be their last chance for a while. Then they 
turned themselves in. LeVasseur has 
been convicted of grand theft and is ap- 
pealing. Sipman has yet to be tried, 

in London, a year affer the "liberation," 
a delegate to the IWC approached Steve 
Sipman in the lobby and asked about the 
minds of dolphins, 

"There's no doubt in my mind thai dol- 
phins have a high sense of ethics," Sip- 
man said. "I had the opportunity to live 
with two dolphins for two and a half years. 
They have a sense of ethics and they're 
intelligent. I know it. It's hard to explain, 
though, to someone who hasn't had di- 
rect experience. It's like trying to explain 
to a blind person what rainbows look 

If Steve Sipman has known cetaceans 
for two and a half years, then John Oktol- 
lik, another observer at the conference, 
has known cetaceans for half a century. 
Oktollik saw them in an entirely different 

John Oktollik is an Eskimo, a veteran 
whaling captain from Point Hope. He is a 
stocky, gentlemanly, bespectacled man 
who is missing most of his lower incisors. 
Sometimes back home, Oktollik takes 
novice Eskimos from inland villages out 
on hunts, and he listens as their first 
bowhead whale breeches nearby. "They 
say, 'Aaahhhhhh,' " he reports. "That's 
their expression, you know, at the big- 
ness." Yet then, with Oktollik directing, 
they pursue this object of their wonder 
and do their best to kill it. 

"I'm fifty-eight," Oktollik told me, as we 
sat together in the lobby outside the con- 
ference hall. "I've been exposed to whal- 
ing since I was a seven year old. At first I 
had to stay in the tent. It was cold — the 
first part of April. I was getting snow to 
make water, or cutting up some blubber 
for fuel. Later, when I was twelve or four- 
teen, I started getting a little bit of train- 
ing. When you first go out in the boat, it's 
very exciting. It's sort of scary— going af- 
ter that monster in a small boat five to six 
meters in length. Sometimes, when we 
take people from the outlying villages, 
and they see the whale, before they know 
it they're paddling backwards." 

The problem of the bowhead whale 
was one 'of the most difficult facing the 
IWC this year. 

Last year, at the annual meeting in To- 
kyo, the Commission for the first time had 

16 OMNI 

limited the Inupiat Eskimos of Alaska in 
the number of bowheads they could kill, 
setting the quota for 1 978 at 1 8 whales 
struck or 12 taken, whichever came first. 
The Eskimos were appalled. They are ac- 
customed to striking and killing far higher 
numbers. (In the spring hunt of 1977, 
which had concluded several weeks be- 
fore that momentous Tokyo meeting, they 
had struck 82 bowheads and had taken 
26.) So this year they came to London in 
force. Some were official members of the 
U.S. delegation, others were observers, 
but all were dedicated to revising the 
quota upward. 

Few environmental issues have had the 
divisive power of the debate on bowhead 
whales. The controversy has divided Es- 
kimos and environmentalists, two groups 
whose sympathies normally would be 

Whales dismembered to be sold commercially 

mutual. It has divided the environmental 
movement itself. The Greenpeace Foun- 
dation is for an immediate end to 
bowhead whaling. Friends of the Earth, 
Inc., is foralimited subsistence hunt. 
Friends of the Earth, Ltd., the British 
branch of the organization, is against 
such a hunt. The controversy has made 
for strange alliances, as well. In London 
the Eskimos found themselves on the 
same side as the Russians, their old ene- 
mies from the days of Baranov. The Rus- 
sians are whalers too; newer at it, but 
conducting their operations on a much 
larger scale. And the controversy has 
made for happy reunions. The Japanese 
and the Koreans, two whaling peoples 
who share with Eskimos racial origins in 
the north of Asia, were reunited in London 
with cousins they last had seen in 
Paleolithic times. 

The Eskimos in London had two distinct 
approaches to international diplomacy. 
John Oktollik's group, the older Eskimos, 
were unfailingly polite. The second 

group, the younger Eskimos, were 
almost invariably rude. 

"The questions you ask show how igno- 
rant you are," Billy Neakok told me in the 
hotel coffee shop. "It is impossible to ex- 
plain it to you." 

Neakok is a young whaling captain 
from Barrow. IrrLondon he wore a white 
parka, a bone necklace, and dark 
glasses. His hair was long and parted 
down the middle. His opinion of me was 
lower than usual, for yesterday the IWC 
technical committee, most of whom 
owned Nordic faces like mine, had rec- 
ommended a bowhead quota of 24 
whales, a number unsatisfactory to the 
Eskimos, who promptly walked out of the 
conference declaring themselves free of 
IWC jurisdiction. 

Neakok had a low opinion, too, of the 
U.S. scientists who conducted this 
spring's bowhead census. The scientists 
had counted 1 734 whales and had esti- 
mated the population at between 1 783 
and 2865, but they had spotted only 1 9 
calves, from which they extrapolated a 
total of 29 — an alarmingly low recruitment 

"There was a May 1st cutoff of the 
count, just when the calves start coming 
through," Neakok told me, having de- 
cided to try to explain after all. "The 
mothers and calves usually come by 
when it's most difficult to hunt them. It's 
hard then because the ice is dangerous. 
The ice is rotten, disintegrating from the 
heat. It's shaved by the current. Sixty- t 
centimeter-thick young ice can get 
shaved to two centimeters in an hour. We 
can live on the ice when it's only ten centi- 
meters, and you can see through to the 
waves underneath. For a hundred thou- 
sand years we've been compiling infor- 
mation. We don't have to use figures. The 
language has names for all these ice con- 
ditions. We evolved in that manner. We 
can't express it. It's racially uncommuni- 

"The people doing the count were from 
National Marine Fisheries. They had 
brand-new snow machines and gear. But 
they didn't know how to live on the ice. 
They didn't understand the danger. We 
had to tell them when to go inland. 

"After they finished the land count, they 
started a half-assed aerial count. Air- 
planes are noisy. Everyone knows — every 
Eskimo, even a child — that a mother and 
calf react to noise. Of course they didn't 
count many calves. 

"We have our own research program. 
We're going to educate the scientists. 
The Eskimos and the whales are here 
because of the success of Eskimo 

Later, as we got up to leave, I asked 
Neakok how he liked London. For a mo- 
ment he didn't answer. Clearly he found it 
a foolish question. 

"It's like any white man's town," he said, 
finally. "More barbaric than the place we 
comefrom." DO 




the tone, the age of the uni- 
verse will be 14.5 billion years. 

That figure was obtained by astrophysi- 
cists Demosthenes Kazanas, David N. 
Schramm, and Kern Hainebach in a re- 
cent study that, they think, represents the 
best estimate so far of the elapsed time 
since our universe was formed in an ex- 
plosion commonly called the "Big Bang." 
Previous estimates, reached by using a 
variety of methods, have ranged from 8 
billion years to 20 billion years, Now Ka- 
zanas and Schramm, of the Enrico Fermi 
Institute of the University of Chicago, and 
Hainebach, of the Lawrence Livermore 
Laboratory, have put together all avail- 
able evidence in a consistent way. They 
believe that the true age of the universe 
is within a billion years of their estimate— 
a mere blink of the eye viewed from the 
perspective of cosmic time. 

The universe we now inhabit is mostly 
empty, with an average density of about 
one hydrogen atom for every cubic 

meter of space. Most of that material is 
gathered into galaxies, of which our Milky 
Way is just one. A major unsolved ques- 
tion is how much matter is diffused 
throughout space between the galaxies. 
As we look outward beyond the Milky 
Way, we see distant galaxies flying away 
from us. This motion of recession causes 
the famous "red shift," so called because 
the spectral lines of receding astronomi- 
cal bodies shift toward red wavelengths. 
The curious thing is that the more distant 
galaxies are rushing away faster than the 
nearer ones. There is a constant ratio be- 
tween speed of recession and distance, 
called the Hubble Constant after Edwin 
'Hubble, whotirst discovered the effect. 
A galaxy recedes at a speed of about 1 7 
kilometers per second for each million 
light-years it is distant. The most distant 
things we have seen are 1 to 1 5 billion 
light-years away and are retreating at 91 
percent of the speed ot light. 

(By the way, when we see all galaxies 
receding from us, it does not mean that 

Exploding galaxy (above) is thought to give birth to new solar systems, much like or 
1 8 OMNI 

we are in some kind of preferred center 
of the universe. Astronomers in any other 
galaxy would see the same thing— as 
if they were at the center. But there is 
no center. The illusion is caused by the 
geometry of the universe.) 

We also know that the chemical com- 
position of the universe is fairly simple. 
There are 92 natural elements, but about 
75 percent of everything is hydrogen, the 
simplest element, and about 25 percent 
is helium, the next simplest. Only about 
one atom of every thousand to ten thour 
sand is a heavier element. (Because of 
their scarcity, astronomers often call 
these heavier elements "metals," even if 
they are not metallic. It is a convenient 

Finally, we live surrounded, immersed, 
in a sea of gravitation and radiation. In 
addition to starlight and other forms of ra- 
diation from cosmic bodies, all of space 
is suffused with a whisper of radiation left 
over from the tremendously energetic 
genesis of the universe. Detected first in 
1 965, this fossil radiation shows that there 
indeed was once a Big Bang. 

Some 14.5 billion years ago there was 
the cosmic egg. Some have called it the 
primeval fireball. What came before and 
how large it was are not known — and are 
perhaps unknowable. It explPded, if so 
tame a word may be used for the begin- 
ning of all we know. Temperatures and 
densities of this beginning are inconceiv- 
able but not incalculable. We can calcu- 
late what the conditions were at a time 
about a hundredth of a second after T=0, 
For a while the universe was mostly en- 
ergy, but as it expanded it cooled, and 
matter formed from the energy (remem- 
ber E=mc 2 ). 

After about half an hour the primordial 
chemical elements, mostly hydrogen 
and helium, formed. In addition, a small 
amount of deuterium, hydrogen with an 
extra neutron (sometimes called "heavy 
hydrogen"), was formed. The tempera- 
ture then was some 300 million degrees 

Slowly the universe cooled off, and not 
much happened for about 700,000 years. 
Then, when the temperature decreased 

to a few lens of thousands of degrees, 
complete atoms began to form. (Above 
these temperatures only atomic nuclei 
can exist.) 

The amount of deuterium and helium 
formed in fhe universe's first few minutes 
would depend on the exact temperature 
and pressure of the fireball. By measur- 
ing the amounts that exist now and ex- 
trapolating backwards, cosmologists get 
an idea of what the birth pangs of the 
universe were like. 

The earliest stars to form were those 
we now see in the vast spheroids called 
globular clusters, which are found in the 
outskirts of galaxies. In forming, they 
used up all the primordial gas in those re- 
gions, and so star formation stopped long 
ago in globular clusters. These stars pre- 
sumably retain in their outer layers the 
original composition of the universe. 

Deep in the interior of stars, however, 
nuclear fusion "cooks" hydrogen to form 
helium and other heavier elements, up to 
the atomic weight of iron. This occurs 
only in the core of stars whose tempera- 
tures reach millions of degrees. A few 
extremely massive stars, at a later 
stage of their evolutionary life spans, 
explode and flare briefly into super- 
novas, each as bright as the entire 
galaxy of which it is a part. Elements 
heavier than iron are then formed and 
spewed outward into space. 

In the flat disk of our galaxy, as well 
as in other galaxies, there is still a fair 
amount of primordial gas left. It has been 
enriched by the supernovas, and so 
later stars are also enriched. Our own 
sun is a second or third-generation star 
and so cannot be used to study primor- 
dial abundances. 

We must look back to the globular clus- 
ters for answers. Their evolution depends 
on their original amounts of helium and 
heavier elements. These abundances are 
some ot the data that Kazanas, Schramm, 
and Hainebach used to find out how long 
the universe has been around. 


Another important factor in the discov- 
ery of its age was the present density of : 
the universe. This is difficult to determine, 
but some idea can be gained from 
"weighing" galaxies in clusters. If a gal- 
axy is not to fly away from its cluster there 
must be a certain amount of matter in the 
galaxies to bind them gravitationally. We 

'.';.." Sag:U-snvs am cioij.-Jaop} r, a densely p:.:p-iiri:^d req : or, u! !?;,?,- 3 i:jund iC'V,-,ird the center ( 
the Milky Way. The Dumbbell Nebula (below), located on the farther outskirts of the Milky W&y h 
thought to be an expanding cloud ol gas originating from a star In later stages of its evolution. 
The gaseous shell is formed by the star expelling its outermost layers into-space. 

can measure their speed with respect to 
one another and thus infer the amount of 
material in them. 

The same sort of thing is done for the 
universe as awhole. A major question is 
whether the universe is flying apart for- 
ever or whether it will eventually stop and 
contract. One number determines which 
is the case: the average density of the 
universe. The critical density, the dividing 
line between an open, ever-expanding 
universe, arid a closed universe that will 
eventually contract is about 3 hydrogen 
atoms per cubic meter. Current estimates 
of matter within galaxies show that the 
present density is between 6 percent 
and 30 percent of the critical density, so 
the universe is open. It will continue to 

Kazanas et al used these estimates to 
help pin down even further the age of the 
universe. They essentially drew a graph 
of age versus the primordial amount of 
helium. Then they plotted on the graph 
the best estimaies of the amount of heavy 
elements in the universe and the average 
density found from studies of galaxies. 
Putting all this data together led them to 
conclude that the best estimate of the 
age of the universe is between 1 3.5 and 
15.5 billion years. 

They claim that if in the future the 
measured age of the universe turns out 
to be outside this range, we will have to 
seriously examine our standard models 
of the Big Bang. The only major potential 
source of error is the possibility that there^ 
is a lot of unseen material not in galaxies 
but between them. 

Some of the first evidence showing 
intergalactic material came from the 
uhuru satellite, which found that some 
superclusters — clusters of clusters — of 
galaxies showed intense x-ray emission. 
Astronomers at the Center for Astrophys- 
ics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, think 
that fhe x-rays come from an intensely 
hot gas lying between the galaxies. They 
estimate that the amount of gas may be 
five to ten times the amount of material in 
the galaxies themselves. That may, if con- 
firmed, raise the density above the critical 
point and necessitate a reevaluation of 
our age estimates. As is true in every 
branch of cosmology, more observations 
are needed. 

So far, though, the estimate of 14.5 bil- 
lion years, plus or minus a billion years or 
so, is consistent with our best observa- 
tions and theories. One check on the re- 
sult is that it provides an estimate of the 
Hubble Constant of 18 kilometers per 
second per million light-years. For the 
field of cosmology, that is in amazingly 
close agreement with previous observa- 

But more amazing yet is that in the last 
third of the age of the universe, certain 
chemicals have combined in hospitable 
places to produce creatures, perhaps not 
unique, that can look up into the sky and 
contemplate their origin. OQ 


By Dr. Bernard Dixon 

^^n abiding fascination of science 
Mm^^is its propulsive creativity. Why 
* mdoes the occasional lone genius 
succeed where a lavishly funded, 
mission-oriented project has failed? Even 
odder, why should Alexander Fleming, 
half a century ago, have made his might- 
ily significant discovery of penicillin — 
yet leave its consummation to Howard 
Florey and Ernst Chain more than ten 
years later? 

Part of the explanation, part of the dra- 
matic contrast between what Thomas 
Kuhn terms "normal science" and the sci- 
entific revolution, must lie in freedom of 
the mind. Despite their command of con- 
ventional knowledge, some great scien- 
tists, like some great artists, remain 
intellectually unfettered, able to take 
giant leaps of unreason. 

One of the most intriguing insights into 
closed and open minds appeared in a 
survey presented to the British Associa- 
tion by Ronald Stansfieid of the City Uni- 
versity, London. Its conclusion was grim: 
many trainee scientists already suffer 
from "trained incapacity," such that theo- 
retical, learned attitudes dominate and 
even eclipse natural talents for original 

Ronald Stansfieid did something very 
simple. He asked 75 university science 
students to "look at a tap slowly, dripping 
water into a bowl and write a description 
of what you see as you watch the water 
coming out of the tap and joining the 
water in the bowl below." That was all. 

When the results came in, Stansfieid 
found that about half of the undergradu- 
ates had written imaginative rather fhan 
factual sentences. One of them reflected 
upon the Chinese water torture, images 
of which had passed through his head as 
he watched the tap dripping. Really dis- 
turbing, however, were several of the re- 
ports by students who genuinely set out 
to write objective accounts. Many con- 
tained material that could not possibly 
have been gained by simple observation. 
For example, "The droplet assumes a 
spherical shape, surface tension provid- 
ing an elastic bag to contain the water as 
it falls." It is, in fact, impossible to see 

simply by watching water dripping that 
the droplets are spherical. The concept 
of surface tension and the bizarre idea of 
an elastic bag must have come from 
scholastic instruction, not from earnest 

Worse was to come. When Stansfieid 
asked 1 3 students whether, since doing 
"O" level exams at school, they had writ- 
ten about what they had observed in the 
laboratory (in contrast to writing down 
what some authority had told them they 
ought to see), not one claimed to have 
done so. Learning the correct answers 
from teachers and textbooks still, appar- 
ently, counts for more than direct obser- 
vation. Could this simple, unpalatable 
fact— this discouragement of native wit 
and senses — explain the closed minds of 
so many scientists when confronted with 
the unexpected? 


Few of us bequeath pieces of tissue 
that will be exploited by future genera- 
tions. A substantial number, however, do 
provide samples of another bodily male- 
rial that is retained for decades in labora- 
tories. Blood, particularly that which we 
give to help diagnose an illness, and that 
can thus be identified by name, is a vast 
store of potential information. Epide- 
miologists have already applied "serolog- 
ical archaeology" — the search for tell- 
tale antibodies in blood — to trace the na- 
ture and spread of past plagues such as 
the 191 8 influenza pandemic. Decades 
hence, technicians may be able to use 
the same method to find out whether you 
or l suffered measles, tuberculosis, or ve- 
nereal disease. . 

Looking for chemical clues in his own 
blood (preserved by freezing), Dr. Robert 
Shope established that part of the "Shope 
papillomavirus" had been incorporated 
into his DNA 30 years earlier— one of the 
first, albeit unintentional, experiments in 
genetic engineering. What, then, could 
future scrutineers learn from the heredi- 
tary material in stored blood samples? 
Nothing from red cells — they are unique 
in that they lose their nuclei when they 

mature. But the white scavenger cells are 
nucleated, and as the business of "se- 
quencing" DNA becomes increasingly 
sophisticated, there seems little doubt 
that tomorrow's genetic monitors will find 
out a good deal about the living bodies 
from which they came. Antigens on the 
same cells will betray much about our an- 
cestry and identity. Crimes may be solved 
many years after the event. 


Speculating thus brings an apt moment 
to welcome Speculation in Science and 
Technology , published by the Western 
Australian Institute of Technology. This 
is a splendid effort, within the format of > 
a learned journal, lo seduce orthodox 
scientists into taking heterodox risks of 
thought— and to hell with the conse- 
quences. "Archaeological chromatog- 
raphy" is one bizarre discipline that 
makes its appearance in the first issue. 
Chromatography is a well-established 
method of separating different materials 
from a mixture. The simplest demonstra- 
tion of it is when one end of a piece of 
blotting paper carrying a dried spot of 
blue ink is dipped into water. As the water 
rises, it separates out two or three differ- 
ent dyes from the ink, which migrate at 
different rates and thus appear as distinct 
bands of color. 

Professor John McCarthy of Stanford 
University applies the same notion to ar- 
chaeology. A castle crumbles to pieces, 
and the site is rained on. The water dis- 
solves materials from the building and 
deposits them in the ground beneath 
Subsequent rains move them farther 
down. Thus the earth underneath a ruin 
may contain well-ordered information 
about substances and even objects the 
building contained. In principle, we could 
retrieve this information by analyzing ma- 
terial from different depths below the site. 

John McCarthy's idea is not, I believe, 
as barmy as it will sound to some. Con- 
servationists lamenting the glory that was 
Greece might do well to engage hetero- 
dox chemists, not just excavationists.to 
study the ground beneath their feet. DO 


By Patrick Moore 

In our present phase of post-Apollo en- 
lightenment, it would be wrong to sug- 
gest that all the mysteries of the moon 
have been solved. Curious things, seen 
now and then — faint glows, flashing 
lights, patches of "mist" — still provoke ar- 
gument and continue to enlist scientific 
inquiry and speculation. 

Men have been to the moon, brought 
back samples of rocks, monitored the re- 
cording devices left behind; absolutely 
no trace of life has been found. We are 
confident the moon has always been 
biologically sterile. We had expected a 
total lack of atmosphere on the moon, but 
were disappointed to detect no "watery" 
material in the rocks. Lunar surface erup- 
tions of volcanic proportion, possible 
sources of the moon's craters, would 
have to be consigned to ancient history: 
the moon looks much the same today as it 
did when the first telescopic observations 
were made of it in 1-609. Even so, and 
however quiet, many astronomers readily 
concede that the moon is not so inert as 
was once thought. In fact, can we be sure 
that nothing ever happens there? 

•Historically, bright lights have been 
described on several occasions. Sir Wil- 
liam Herschel. in 1787, saw several 
points he believed to be active volca- 

noes. Modern observers have described 
faint glows, sometimes red, which are 
now generally known as TLP— Transient 
Lunar Phenomena — (a term I coined 

Many who study the moon with power- 
ful telescopes have reported these elu- 
sive glows or local obscurations. I have 
done so myself on several occasions, 
though the procedure requires many hun- 
dreds of hours of fruitless searching be- 
fore even a glimmer can be spotted. Fol- 
lowing the War, most TLP reports came 
from amateurs but this was understand- 
able enough. Professional astronomers 
were not then particularly interested in 
the moon; it was regarded as somewhat 
dull and parochial. Far more important 
were the stars and distant star-systems 
(no doubt true enough). When the Space 
Age drew near, however, opinions 
changed, and the moon, in its 
accessibility, once more became 

At the Crimean Observatory in the 
U.S.S.R., Nikolai Kozyrev was using the 
50-inch telescope to observe the moon. 
He was interested in the TLP reports, and 
I had been in correspondence with him 
about them. Once he was looking at the 
formation Alphonsus, which Is an 

enclosure over 1 1 kilometers in diame- 
ter, with a central mountain and a system 
of cracks or 'rills' on its floor. Suddenly, 
Kozyrev saw a red patch not far from the 
central peak. It did not last for long, but 
he was able to obtain definite proof that 
something had happened. It was not the 
first time strange phenomena have been 
seen in Alphonsus. Even more interesting 
is Aristarchus-, a 36-kilometer crater — the 
brightest object on the moon— which can 
even be seen when illuminated only by 
light reflected from the earth. Reddish 
glows have been seen here too, and the 
reports are too numerous to dismiss 

These odd lights are not confined to Al- 
phonsus and Aristarchus. They appear ' 
elsewhere on the lunar surface, and most 
astronomers (though not all) are now con- 
vinced that the color spots are genuine. 
They are not always red. Some merely 
take the form of blurred patches, tempo- 
rarily hiding the surface features beneath. 
Observers found that the lights were most 
common when the moon was closest to 
the earth (perigee), so that its crust 
was under maximum strain from earth's 

In 1969, the first manned landings left 
recording equipment behind on the lunar 
surface. It was found that mild moon- 
quakes do occur most frequently at the 
time of perigee, which may indicate a link 
between moonquakes and the transient 

Still, what then causes the lights? 

We can certainly rule out conventional 
volcanic eruptions. Violent cataclysms on 
the moon ended at least a thousand- 
million years ago, when life on earth was 
still at a primitive stage. But there have 
been suggestions that such glows are 
due to the escape of trapped gases from 
beneath the lunar crust, an entirely credi- 
ble theory. 

Meantime, observers— both profes- 
sional and amateur — are continuing to 
keep a close watch, searching for the 
strange, will-o'-the-wisp lights that ap- 
pear so timidly from the density of lunar 
rocks. The moon has yielded up some 
of its secrets, but by no means all. DO 




Battlestar Galactica is the most expen- 
■ sive series ever created for television. Its 
price tag averages nearly a million dollars 
per hour for the episodes seen this fall. 
The usual fees for a big budget series are 
compounded by an inspired move from 
creator/writer/execulive producer Glen 
Larson. In signing John Dykstra, multiple 
Academy Award-winning special effects 
supervisor for Star Wars, Larson hired a 
formidable talent. Dykstra created the 
dazzling array of effects that highlight this 
otherwise pedestrian program, making 
Galactica the hottest new series of the 

"Certainly nothing like this has ever 
been attempted before in television," 
Larson told me. "We fried to get the best 
people in the business to create our im- 
ages, ihe most creafive minds in the field, 
including Dykstra and a bunch of other 
people who've been involved in every- 
thing from 2001 and Silent Running to 
Star Wars." This "bunch" includes 
Dykstra's production team at Industrial 
Light and Magic (the special effects unit 
assembled for Star Wars), which was 
kept more or less intact for Galactica. 

"Initially, I didn't want to do episodic tv," 
Dykstra commented, "but the challenge 
of the shows I'll be working on was to 
do something really good for television." 
Although he :s leaving Galactica after 
seven episodes, Dyksira has created a 
"library" of special effecfs footage that 
can be endlessly rearranged. "I'm a little 
burnt out on this now," he told me, "but 
rather than simply walk away from it, I 
set up Ihe fhree thousand individual 
elements that we shot of individual 
ships moving in individual directions so 
they can be put together in different 
combinations — as long as the scripts are 
out in time to do anything." 

Producer Larson is planning to take the 
effects work "even further. "We're not look- 
ing to do a good pilot and just cannibalize 
it forever," he said. "We've taken over a 
building in which we plan to build the 

Star Wars special effects iw: John Dykstra. 
■ Says Dykstra:"The challenge of this show was 
to do something realty exciting tar tv." 

most advanced special effecis sfudio in 
the world. There we'll create new effects 
to keep that aspect of the show as fresh 
as Ihe rest." 

Both Larson and Dykstra are aware of 
the dangers in trying to create anything 
new in prime time television. Regardless 
of the show's visual imagery, ihe series 
must survive on the quality of ils charac- 
ters and stories. Judging from the pilot 
and a visit to the set where one of the 
early hour-long episodes was in produc- 
tion, Galactica recalls a number of tv 
shows and feature films and fhus will be 
very much in the mainstream of television 

An old hand at adapting popular film 
subjects for television, Larson produced 
such series as Mas Smith and Jones (its 
original episodes reminding one of Butch 
Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), Switch 
(The Sting), McCloud (Coogan's Bluff), 
and It Takes a Thief (from the film of the 
same name). There are similarities be- 
tween Batticsisr Galactica and Star War's 

beyond the visuals, among them the use 
of costume-drama, dialogue, props, and 
the central characters, who clearly paral- 
lel Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and even 
R2-D2. SiarWars, of course, wasegually 
guilty of "adapting" images and ideas 
from a score of films, including Buck 
Rogers and Flash Gordon, Japanese 
samurai films, The Time Machine, The 
Creature from the Black Lagoon, and 
The Dam Busters. 

As can be expected, Larson is hoping 
to attract the fanatical "Trekkies," who reli- 
giously follow the oft-repeated Star Trek 
episodes. Larson is hoping to attract 
fhem but not counting on them for, de- 
spite a mass mail campaign to save Star 
Trek from cancellation by NBC, the ' 

Trekkies didn't constitute a large enough 
audience to keep if on the air. 

"Galactica is an all-time challenger," 
Larson figures, "because Ihe kids are 
naturally going to compare us with every- 
thing from Star Trek to Star Wars. Then 
there are the dyed-in-the-wool science 
fiction fans. We aren't going to do enough 
in that area to please them, either. We 
didn't want to limit ourselves, because 
that would result in instant oblivion, Al- 
though the television version of Logan's 
Run came on television in the wake of 
Star Wars, and at the same time as Close 
Encounters, the excitement of the films 
didn't doit any good. Our concept is wide 
open. We can go in any number of direc- 
tions with it, adapting it as we see fit. But 
regardless, a lot is riding on Battlestar 
Galactica. With our budget and talent, if 
we go under we'll set the TV sci-fi field 
back a long way." 

The elements that make up Galactica 
are not merely drawn from mainstream 
science fiction. One observes bits and 
pieces of everything from Davy Crockett 
and Prince Valiant to The Bridges at 
Toko-Ri, War of the Worlds, even Mod 
Squad. The dialogue is fairly reeking of 
supercilious self-importance, but Dirk 
Benedict, playing the Han Solo-ish 
Lt. Starbuck, has the talent to harpoon the 
most leaden scenes, "You certainly have 
a way of cutting through the felcagarb," 
he quips to the "sociolater" with a heart 

of gold after he rescues her from some 
fellow passengers in the pilot episode. 
One almost expects her to ask him, as 
he draws her to a dark spot for some pre- 
action romance, "Will you still respect me 
in the next solar system?" 

Having experienced a great deal of 
creative freedom on Star Wars, Dykstra 
must have felt more than a" bit confined at 
times on Galactica. Even with the posi- 
tion of line producer, an added induce- 
ment to his regular tasks as director of 
special effects, he still came up against 
the bottom-line decisions of the executive 
producer. "It's Glen Larson's show, his 
story," Dykstra conceded. "I did whatever 
I could whenever I could to support him 
when we agreed — and argued with him 
when we disagreed. He wrote it. He 
supervised the ediling. He was there for 
the dubbing. I was there as much as I 
could be to say, 'Oh, this is really terrible' 
or 'That's good,' and anytime I came 
across anything that smacked of Star 
Wars I tried to get rid of it. But some of the 
things are just part of the genre, and 
there's no way to get rid of them. Once 
they were in the film I just said, 'Well, 
screw it.' That's not really a rip-off from 
Star Wars, it's really just part of the same 
gents, and it's important to the show for it 
to be there." 

The areas of Galactica where Dykstra's 
hand is most evident are those where he 
was lefl relatively tree to pursue his own 
personal tastes and visions. The remark- 
able flying sequences fulfill the promise 
of Star Wars's "dogfights." Where the 
starfighters seemed confined to very 
strict maneuvers in the film, they appear 
more realistic here, able to dip, glide, 
and turn in exceptionally fluid flight, 

Although it was produced for U.S. tele- 
vision, Battlestar Galactica was edited 
down to two hours and released as a fea- 
ture film in Europe, and Canada. While 

visiting Universal Studios (production 
and distribution company for the series), I 
was able to see the film by invitation of 
the* Mattel Toy Company, which is mer- 
chandising a line of toys and model kits 
based on the series. Having spoken to 
Dykstra and Larson before seeing the 
film, I was aware of its shortcomings. 
Made for television, it's unfair to judge the 
visuals on a big screen, but the quality of 
Dykstra's work is evident throughout. 
Those faults he mentioned in our conver- 
sation were barely noticeable. 

"I'm very dissatisfied with the quality 
for theatrical release," Dykstra said, "It's 
bothersome. The scope of a show with 
this quantity of special effects material is 
not made for a forty-foot screen format. 
There's a myriad of things that are sophis- 
tications for television. They make it work 
on tv but are wrong for a feature 
release." — James Delson 


John Dykstra's special effects for Galactica bring space to life (below); a 
28 OMNI 

Given Hollywood's exhaustive efforts to 
mirror our times, a new blockbuster about 
cloning comes as a surprise to no one. 
Cloning caught the human imagination 
months ago and for good reason: it sug- 
gests personal immortality. So defines the 
driving force behind The Boys from Brazil 
from 20th Century-Fox, starring Gregory 
Peck, Laurence Olivier, and James Ma- 

In his 51st film, Peck plays Dr. Mengele, 
the Nazi war criminal who masterminds 
the cloning of 94 little Hitlers in an attempt 
to establish a Fourth Reich. As we began 
our interview, he explained the cloning 
process, including the way it was used in 
The Boys from Brazil: "In laymen's terms, 
which are the only ones I can use to de- 
scribe the process, a human cell is taken 
from the donor." He is careful with his 
words, thinking out the sentences one at 
a time to make things as clear as possi- 
ble. "The cell can be from a blood sam- 
ple, a tissue sample, or from bone mar- 
row. The cell is inserted into a female egg 
that has been 'hollowed out,' which 
means the genetic characteristics of the 
mother have been removed. The egg is 
then implanted in the female womb. It 
produces an embryo that eventually be- 
comes a child, entirely the product of the 
donor. It is not artificial insemination; the 
child is a true clone, the genetic duplicate 
of the donor." 

"It's cellular xeroxing," I respond, draw- 
ing a smile from Peck. "That's it, yeah," he 
says. "Doctor Derek Bromhall, the techni- 
cal adviser on the film, has actually done 
some incredible work in the field. We 
used his lab equipment in the sequence 
where I'm in my secret laboratory in Para- 
guay performing some terrible operation 
on one of the women who serve as 'incu- 
bators' for the Hitler clones." 

In reality, cloning has been carried 
through to completion only on lower or- 
ders, such as axolotls and frogs; but 
Bromhall gained worldwide recognition 
for his work in Oxford, England, where he 
cloned a rabbit through to an embryonic 
state. Unable to finish his work because 
of a lack of funds, Bromhall nevertheless 
proved the viability of the experiment, 
Peck is certain that it's the most ad- 
vanced cloning work that's ever taken . 

"Since I had to simulate this operation 
on screen," Peck reassured me, 
"Bromhall was there to see that every- 
thing was as it should be." But how did 
this cloning scheme arise? Instantly 
changing his posture, straightening up to 
sit on the edge of the couch, Peck trans- 
forms himself into Mengele, "The Angel of 
Death," affecting a convincing German 
accent with a clipped, formal, lifeless 

"On a certain day in 1 943," Peck/ 

Mengele says, each word as brittle as if it 
were chipped off a marble block, "he al- 
lowed me to take halt a liter of his blood 
and some skin tissue. We preserved and 
protected the samples for twenty years, 
until the technique was perfected! Until I 
was sure I could make the clones prop- 
erly," I am growing visibly uneasy. Seeing 
this, Peck drops the accent and con- 
tinues. "Twenty years later, Mengele has 
94 women brought to his laboratory in Par- 
aguay. He plants the Hitler-impregnated 
eggs in them to be brought to term, the 
women acting as incubators until the 
children areborn." 

Creating life is one thing, but how do the 
infant Hitlers get a proper start in life? 
"Once they 're born," Peck explains, 
"they're distributed to Nazi agents around 
the world by means of a secret organiza- 
tion of adoption agencies. The infants are 
shipped out of Brazil, hence the film's title. 
The agents have sought out childless, but 
"decent" married couples who would like 
to adopt but can't because the father is too 
old. This worts for the Nazis, because the 
families cannot tell anyone of the adop- 
tions for fear of having their children taken 

"The families have been chosen 
because they fit into a specific profile 
designed by Mengele to duplicate, as 
closely as possible, Hitler's home situa- 
tion. The fathers are 52-year-old civil 
servants, and the mothers, 34-year-old 
' housewives. In addition, the households, 
all hand-picked by Mengele, provide the 
same economic, religious, and social 
environment as Hitler had. The couples re- 
ceive these black-haired, blue-eyed 
healthy babies from what they take to be a 
black-market ring. They're happy. They 
have a child. They don't have a clue that 
this is a little clone of Hitler. 

"The diabolic nature of the. scheme is re- 
vealed right at the beginning of the film, 

when the boys are fourteen. The fathers 
must die, just as Hitler's father died when 
he was fourteen. The clones must un- 
dergo the same psychological trauma as 
their genetic father. Under Mengel.e's 
plan.it is necessary to organize and exe- 
cute 94 assassinations in Austria, Holland, 
England, Germany, America, and so forth. 
The deaths must appear accidental. They 
must leavethe children fatherless and, 
one would assume, a burden to their 

This year we've already seen rumors 
and a book about supposed human clone 
experiments, but all have been unsup- 
ported byfactual evidence. Regardless of 
the truth, however, the amount of publicity 
generated by newspaper stories, inter- 
views, and other material available to the 
public has created a kind of "clone fever" 
in the U.S. The release of a film with clon- 
ing at its core is amazingly well timed. "Oh, 
it's all to the good, "Peck admits. "Johnny 
Carson has a cloning joke almost every 
night now. Everybody's talking about it, so 
sure, we're hoping it'll help us out." 

Peck's forthright image, the man of con- 
science forever struggling to uphold the 
best traditions of honor and decency, 
might finally be broken with his portrayal of 
Mengele. Still at large and living in relative 
luxury In Paraguay, fhe unrepentant Nazi 
was responsible for the deaths of 300,000 
people at Auschwitz concentration camp 
during World War II. Now under the protec- 
tion of the Paraguayan government, 
Mengele is currently advising them on 
their internal affairs, most notably the ex- 
termination of their indigenous Indian 
tribes. The character is not unlike what we 
imagine Hitler might be like today if he 
were still alive. Mengele's name was not 
changed. As Peck says: "We would be 
delighted if he would start a lawsuit 
against us. Nothing could please us 
more." — James Deison 


Peck as a mad sciential vjhc attempts to clone Hi 

One year after the introduction of the 
antiaging pill, traditional religions warn 
against death control a campaign similar 
to the earlier crusade against birth con- 
trol; the economy is destabilizing as em- 
ployees desert their jobs; government 
has moved in to monopolize distribution 
of the pill; and the. divorce rate is increas- 
ing. Ten years later, organized religion 
is disgraced and disbanded, virtually 
everyone is taking the pill, divorce rates 
soar, the economy is staggering because 
of an increase in absenteeism, and all 
dangerous sports are phasing out as 
people everywhere reorient themselves 
to the quest for physical immortality, 

This is not the plot of a new SF novel; it 
is part of a Scenario developed by 31 
graduate students in the department 
of future studies at the University of 
Houston given the assignment of pre- 
dicting how a longevity pill would change 
our society. 

Although Omni does not regularly 
review articles, it is worth making an ex- 
ception for "The Impending Society of 
Immortals," by Jib Fowles, in the June 
1978 issue of The Futurist, where this 
study is described and the group's pre- 
dictions are given for 20 years and 50 
years after the introduction ol the life- 
extension pill. It has become as stale as 
King Tut's socks to repeat Alvin Toff let's 
warning that since there are mote scien- 
tists alive today than in all previous his- 
tory, we should expect more sociotechno- 
logical change in fhe- next generation 
than we saw in all previous centuries; but 
Fowles's summary of the University of 
Housion study gives one a gut-level feel- 
ing of how one possible breakthrough 
can produce in just a few decades more 
social upheaval than Galileo, the Indus- 
trial Revolution, the Wright Brothers, and 
the atom bomb did in three centuries. 

That such a longevity pill (or some 
alternative antiac.no, device) is imminent 
is the thesis of Albert Rosenfeld's 
Prolongevity (Knopf, New York). Ros'en- 
feld, science editor of the Saturday Re- 
view, has done his homework: the bibli- 
ography lists over 500 scientific papers, 
and he seems to have personally inter- 
viewed nearly every important researcher 
of life extension in the United States. 
While the degree of optimism varies 
among the authorities cited, there is a 
solid consensus fhal we already under- 
stand a great deal about what causes 
aging and are close io understanding 
how to reverse, the process. Some of Ihe 
investigators have already achieved an 
impressive amount of lite extension and 
rejuvenation in laboratory animals, and 
they all expect to achieve much more — 
perhaps not by next Tuesday but certainly 
in the foreseeable future. 
No More Dying, by Joel Kurtzman and 

Phillip Gordon (Dell, New York), makes a 
good companion piece to Prolongevity, 
since each book includes a few areas of 
research thai the other inadvertently 
overlooks. The jolting difference between 
the titles does not reflect any real dis- 
agreement between authors; both texts 
deal mainly with those who are seeking 
longevity, rather than with the ultraradi- 
cals who admit they are aiming for 
immortality — and both authors agree 
thatantiaging research will eventually 
go beyond longevity to immortality. 

In attempting to guesstimate the liming 
'of the longevity revolution, it is useful to 
think back 20 years to 1 958 and ask, 
What would have seemed a reasonable 
scenario for the opening of the Space 
Age? Obviously, only the most radical 
would have predicted that Sputnik would 
be aloft within a year and that the first 
man would walk on the moon within 1 1 
years. Similarly, going back 40 years, it 
was clear to many scientists in 1938 that 
the Atomic Age was coming, but few 
indeed would have expected the first 
chain reaction in five years and the first 
nuclear bomb in seven. Of course, the 
life-extension problem may be harder to 
crack than the atom or space flight, but 
Dr. Benjamin Schloss of the Aging Re- 
search Institute in Van Nuys, California, 
has already adopted the slogan, "An End 
to Aging by 1 989." He seems radical 
now; might he seem conservative by 

The possible chaos resulting from a 
quantum jump to immortality is the theme 
of the most disturbing satiric novel of the 
year, Alan Harrington's Paradise ! (Little, 
Brown, Boston). The predicament Har- 
rington has imagined is indicated by 
these figures: roughly 67 people die 
every minute; about 1 00,000 every day; 
approximately 36 million a year. What 
happens if a group of brilliant but politi- 
cally naive scientists announces a suc- 
cessful immortality pill but have only a 
limited supply for the first few years? In 
Harrington's mordant novel, every spe- 
cial interest group and every conniving 
scoundrel on the planet attempts to steal 
the formula; the government staves off 
anarchy by establishing a monopoly on 
distribution (as in the University of Hous- 
ton projection); but charges of govern- 
mental corruption and favoritism lead to 
steadily rising insurrection, until . , , well, 
until the next twist of a plot that it would 
be unfair to reveal in full. Harrington 
writes with an eloquent wit superior to 
Mailer, with a gift for black comedy com- 
parable to Vonnegut, and with an obvious 
sense of urgency. It is no secret that the 
scientists in this fable are based on real 
researchers alive today (whom you might 
recognize under their real names in the 
books of Rosenfeld and Kurtzman- 
Gordon); everything Harrington imagines 
just might happen, if we stumble into im- 
mortality backwards, philosophically un- 
prepared for the death of Death. 

30 OMM 

Harrington is also raising ultimate 
questions in The Immortalis! (Celestial 
Arts, Millbrae), which carefully considers 
every argument in favor of death offered 
by philosophers or theologians and then 
tears them apart with relentless logic and 
savage sarcasm. Originally published in 
1 969, The Immortalist received several 
rave reviews (including one by Gore Vi- 
dal) but then sank into oblivion because 
it was simply too far ahead of its time. 
This new edition, nine years later, may 
finally attract the audience deserved by 
a book that dares to open with the mind- 
boggling sentence, "Death is an imposi- 
tion on the human race, and no longer 

Even further out is another book with 

6 Is it nucleic-acid mys- 
ticism to suggest that current 
breakthroughs in life-ex- 
tension sciences are inevitably 
synchronous with the emer- 
gence of space technology? 
Life extension is unthink- 
able without space frontiers.^ 

the same title: Heathcote Williams's The 
Immortalist (Open Head Press, London). 
Williams, generally regarded in England 
as one of the most brilliant dramatists 
alive but not yet widely known over here, 
has written The Immortalist as a script 
equally suitable for theater, tv, or even ra- 
dio, since there are only two characters 
and all they do is argue. The Immortalist 
claims he is 278 years old; the reporter 
skeptically challenges him; the debate is 
as resonantly ambiguous as Waiting for 
Godot and often as screwball as the Marx 
Brothers. The Immortalist may be a mad 
imposter, a clever put-on artist, or exactly 
what he claims to be: the audience can 
never be quite sure. The methods of ex- 
tending life urged by the Immortalist 
range from ancient alchemical and occult 
ideas through recent scientific proposals 
right out of Rosenfeld, Kurtzman, and 
Gordon to a kind of anarchist metaphys- 
ics reminiscent of William S. Burroughs. 
(We only die, according to this argument, 
because we allow capitalists and govern- 
ments to take time from us: this is pre- 
sented with the same mixture of intensity 
and absurdity as all the rest of the de- 
bate.) At the end, the Immortalist is bla- 
tantly inciting the audience to demand 
further antiaging research, and his last 
words to the presumably reeling reporter 
are: "There are people alive now who are 
never going to die. Put that on the news." 

One can only wonder why there are no 
American playwrights dealing with such 
important scientific-social issues. 

Woody Allen obviously speaks for most 
of the churchless and faithless when he 
says, "Some people want to achieve im- 
mortality through their works or their de- 
scendants. I prefer to 
achieve immortality by not dying." 

— Robert Anton Wilson 


"Microbiology and genetics are deci- 
phering the DNA code,thus providing the 
possibility of rejuvenation and indefinite 
Life Extension. Biochemists assure us 
that there is no scientific reason why a 
healthy person cannot extend her-or-his 
life span several years ... All of the 
religious and philosophic systems con- 
structed by human beings have con- 
cerned themselves with the basic issue of 
death. The Western religions have offered 
immortality in a post-mortem, heavenly 
realm to be attained by the socially virtu- 
ous. The Oriental religions, addressing 
themselves soberly to the gloomy fact 
that human life ends inevitably in sick- 
ness, senility and death, have offered 
passive resignation and a detached indi- 
vidual yoga .... 

Life Extension, however, without Space 
Migration and Intelligence Increase is 
clearly an impossible nightmare. Until , 
now it was necessary for postmeno- 
pausal humans to die and get their bod- 
ies off the scene to make room for the 
new arrivals. Is it nucleic-acid mysticism 
to suggest that current breakthroughs in 
life-extension sciences are inevitably 
synchronous with the emergence of 
space technology? Surely life extension 
would be unthinkable without space fron- 
tiers. And with limitless space available im- 
mortality becomes a migratory tool, No 
rejuvenation without migration! could well 
be the motto to protect us from the horrid 
possibility of John Denver and Frank 
Sinatra at age 500 still re-appearing at 
Las Vegas. 

Extended life span will obviously re- 
quire a sudden quantum jump in neural 
efficiency, the knowledge of how to re-, 
imprint realities, to create new identities, 
to absorb new mental styles, to learn 
new tricks . . . 

If there is any goal beyond narcissism 
for the new generation of hedonic con- 
sumers freed from the constrictions of the 
work- aesthetic and the old-time religions, 
if there is any social or genetic purpose 
to this new, self-conscious individualism 
perhaps it is in preparation for the 
greatest challange our species has faced 
in millennia — the expansion of space and 

— from Neuropolitics by Timothy Leary 
with Robert Anton Wilson and G.A. 
Koopman, DO 


By James Oberg 

^^ mong the most influential and 
m^A widely known UFO incidents 
# » is the story of Barney and 

Betty Hill, a middle-aged New Hampshire 
couple who in 1 961 were returning from 
vacation. Driving late at night through the 
White Mountains, the Hills encountered a 
UFO whose alien occupants reportedly 
took them on board and subjected them 
to a thorough medical examination, 

Several factors seemed to argue 
strongly in favor of the authenticity of the 
case. First, the narrative of the abduction 
was not consciously remembered by the 
Hills but was extracted by a psychiatrist 
using hypnosis. This fact seemed to rule 
out any chance of a deliberate hoax. 
Second, one particular piece of informa- 
tion (similarly relrieved from Betty Hill's 
subconscious) was a "star map," which 
was subsequently deciphered by experts 
to indicate the alien ship's home solar 

Over the years, the "Barney and Betty 
Hill UFO Abduction" has become ac- 
cepted as a "classic" close encounter of 
the third kind. Since then, dozens of simi- 
lar cases have been reported. A best- 
selling book (Interrupted Journey by 
John Fuller) and a made-for-tv movie 
(NBC's UFO Incident) have boosted the 
case's fame. Betty Hill (Barney died in 
1 969) has become a popular feature at 
UFO conventions nationwide. 

Two questions come to mind concern- 
ing this famous case. First, can anything 
really be concluded about the authentic- 
ity of the original incident? Second, have 
UFO organizations and the news media 
generally handled this case in a responsi- 
ble fashion? 

While no final conclusions can be 
drawn (as in most UFO cases there is 
enough uncertainty and doubt to hide the 
Seventh Fleet), some very interesting in- 
sights about the UFJD phenomenon can 
be gained by examining the Hill incident. 

The case would almost have to be 
labeled authentic if the hypnotic inter- 
rogation of the Hills had turned out to be 
based on true subconscious memories of 
real events. Also, the case would be very 
strong if the astronomical information 

revealed in Mrs. Hill's "star maps" was 
valid. And, of course, any corroborative 
testimony on the part of other possible 
witnesses would lend further credibility. 

Indeed, as reported in the books and 
magazines that cover the Hill case, all 
these criteria have been satisfied. But 
have they really been? 

Hypnotic regression (or abreaction) 
can be a useful tool in psychoanalysis 
and has been gaining wider acceptance 
as an interrogative technique in police 
investigations. Cooperative witnesses 
can recall details about an eventthey 
may have forgotten or may never 
actually have noticed consciously. 

But the technique has its pitfalls. A 
subject in the highly suggestible state 
may actually concoct fictitious details or 
an entire imaginary theme to please the 
subconsciously sensed desires of the in- 

Researchers in California recently hyp- 
notized subjects with no previous UFO 
experiences or interests and asked them 

BettyH ir of itie third 

kind made UFO history, holds star map that 
depicts solar system of her alien hosts. 

leading questions about a nonexistent 
UFO abduction that the subjects were led 
to assume they had just undergone. They 
responded with a wealth of details con- 
jured up from their imaginations. The sto- 
ries sounded no different from any of the 
classic abduction cases already on rec- 
ord, including Betty and Barney Hill's. 

Dr. Benjamin Simon, the Boston psychi- 
atrist who conducted the hypnosis ses- 
sions with the Hills 1 5 years ago is still 
convinced that the entire UFO abduction 
story was this kind of phenomenon, an 
innocent fabrication based on subcon- 
scious anxieties and vivid imaginations. 
Dr. Simon, whose psychoanalytic exper- 
tise is generally portrayed as the back- 
bone of the Hill case's authenticity, does 
not believe the incident as reported ever 
took place! 

Under hypnosis, Betty Hill drew a pat- 
tern of dots, lines, and circles that she 
said was a star map shown to her by the 
UFO commander. Several years later, an 
amateur astronomer in Ohio produced 
a view of nearby stars that seemed to 
match Betty's drawing. Astonishingly, the 
map's viewpoint was from deep in space, 
looking back at our solar system. Most of 
the identified stars on the map were simi- 
lar in size and brightness to our own sun, 
although such stars (the only kind likely to 
have planets with intelligent life orbiting 
them) are a distinct minority in the galaxy 

The alien home system was identified 
as a double star called Zeta Reticuli, 

Skeptics claimed that an "identifica- 
tion" of the alien world could be made 
with any random collection of dots and 
lines and that the predominance of sun- 
like stars on the decoded map should not 
have been surprising since to shorten the 
work all others had dropped from consid- 
eration. Some sun-type stars should have 
shown up but didn't; the remaining dots 
on the drawing were assigned to handy 
non-sunlike stars or dismissed as "back- 
ground" decoration. 

With that, any number of different (and 
mutually exclusive) map interpretations 
could be made. And so they have. At last 
count, four different interpretations had 
surfaced, all very convincing, 

It's also odd that Betty Hill recalls her 
UFO abductors telling her that earth is 
off the beaten galactic track and is 
rarely visited. Where are all those other 
UFOs coming from? 

Mrs. Hill's ability to accurately recon- 
struct events and details became sus- 
pect when UFO investigator Robert 
Sheafter showed that she was unable to 
draw a reliable chart of the alleged UFO's 
position in the sky. In place of the moon 
and two bright planets that were actually 
there, the Hill account shows the moon, a 
bright planet, and the "starlike" UFO. 
Sheaffer concludes that the original UFO 
sighting, which so frightened the sleep- 
less Hills, was a not uncommon "car- 
chasing UFO" phenomenon oaused by 
the sporadic appearance of the bright 
planet Jupiter from behind clouds. 

As for the current credibility of Betty 
Hill, she has become something of an 
embarrassment to the UFO movement. 
Her latest stories tell of a secret UFO 
landing field, of her car being blasted 
by a UFO's heat ray, of UFOs with their 
undersides painted to look like ordinary 
airplanes, of the local plunderings of a 
supernatural chicken mutilator, of her 
neighbor's levitating cat, of her own pre- 
cognitive and clairvoyant ESP powers, of 
her continual harassment by sinister gov- 
ernment agents, of the visit to her home = 
by the capricious poltergeist of a dead 3 
six-year-old orphan, and other equally | 
unbelievable tales. UFO buffs find these § 
fables hard to swallow, but they swallow f 
hard and point to the details of her origi- | 
nal testimony. Skeptics suggest these = 
new stories simply underline her vivid | 
imagination and her propensity for fan- | 
tasizing whether conscious or under I 
hypnosis. 1 

Moreover, studies critical of many | 

aspects of the original Hill abduction 
have reportedly been circulating among 
pro-UFO groups for several years. Ac- 
cording to people who claim to have seen 
these documents, they are stamped with 
the UFO equivalent of top secret, That is, 
there are embarrassing facts about the 
original Hill case that some UFO groups 
believe the public is better off not 

Defenders of the original Hill abduction 
case dismiss Dr. Simon's incredulity by 
suggesting that the Boston hypnotist was 
unaware of other similar reports and thus 
believed the Hill testimony was an anom- 
aly. Proponents defend the legitimacy of 
the decoded star map (but they disagree 
onwhich interpretation is the legitimate 
one), They believe there were many cor- 
roborative radar reports of UFOs that 
night, though the reporter who revealed | 
that information in a local newspaper has | 
since lost his notes and cannot now say c 
where he learned those facts. § 

So there is adequate uncertainty to 
warrant further study of the Hill encounter. 
What is apparent, however, is that the 
most publicized accounts of this case are 

32 OMNI 

heavily biased in favor of its unsolvability, 
even to the extent of deliberately helping 
the case stay "unsolvable" by slanting 
key pieces of evidence and omitting 

As long as this remains the standard 
approach to UFO documentation, so will 
UFOIogy remain an unborn science. The 
Betty Hill case is an excellent touchstone 
against which such standards of behav- 
ior can be measured. 

Ex-astronaut L. Gordon Cooper has be- 
come something of a celebrity recently 
with his tv talk show accounts of personal 
UFO sightings in Europe and California in 
the 1 950s and his present cooperation 
with international UFO investigators. 

Books and magazines are full of detailed 
accounts of Cooper's encounters with 
UFOs in space during the Mercury and 
Gemini programs. 

An exciting and provocative UFO reve- 
lation attributed to the astronaut appears 
on the package of a "Close Encounters 
Alien Doll," distributed by Columbia Pic- 
tures Industries as part of the commer- 
cialization of the famous UFO movie. 
Says the quotation, "Intelligent beings 
from other planets regularly visit our 
world in an effort to enter into contact with 
us. . . . NASA and the American govern- 
ment know this and possess a great deal 
of evidence. Nevertheless, they remain 
silent in order not to alarm people. ... I 
am dedicated to forcing the authorities to 
end their silence." 

The problem is, claims Cooper, he 
never said that and never even attended 
the Mew York City UFO conference at 
which he is alleged to have made those 
comments. And to express his profound 
displeasure at having his name exploited 
by Columbia, he is suing them for two 
million dollars. Columbia, meanwhile, 
refuses to comment on which UFO buff 
gave them the alleged quotation and why 
they never tried to verify it. 

Nor did Cooper see any UFOs on his 
space flights, it turns out. "Complete 
fabrications," he calls the stories that for 
more than 1 5 years have enlivened 
UFO literature. 

Cooper does remain intrigued by the 
real UFO problem, he maintains, and his , 
own UFO experiences remain uninvesti- 
gated and unexplained. But the UFO 
movement evidently was unsatisfied 
with the honest realities of an astronaut's 
UFO stories and piled fantasies and fab- 
rications upon them. Cooper's legal 
action against Columbia may help de- - 

The UFO phenomenon has produced thousands c! pnotcg'apns Typical ol the more stunning 
i'ar.b controversial} arc. top, a -ne: v:-:J in '74 una baicnv i,\-o 

UFOs flying side by s/tie in ;he ragn: shy above Santa Ana. California. 

termine just how (ar the media can go 
in carelessly perpetuating profitable 
UFO frauds. 

across the vast gulfs of interstellar space 
would require the most precise computa- 
tions imaginable. If UFOs are coming to 
us from hundreds or thousands of light- 
years away, their location-finding skills 
must be honed to a sharpness unimagin- 
able in contemporary terms. 

But the UFO pilots of Steven Spiel- 
berg's epic Close Encounters of the 
Third Kind must have become lost in a 
galactic fog bank when they attempted to 
make contact with human representa- 
tives at Devil's Tower, Wyoming. 

The latitude and longitude given in 
Ihe UFO movie were grossly in error. 
The aliens asked to be met at 1 04-44-30 
by 40-36-1 0, a location near Lone Tree 
Creek, about 80 kilometers north of Den- 
ver, Colorado. Devil's Tower, where the 
spectacular ending of Close Encounters 
took place, is 451 kilometers farther 

Presumably, the UFOs swooped over 
Lone Tree Creek and found nothing bul a 
few hungry coyotes and a lost reporter. 
They then frantically circled the entire 
Rocky Mountain area until they just hap- 
pened upon the human base camp at 
Devil's Tower. 

The rest is history — or, if you will, hyste- 
, ria, But it was the biggest navigation error 
since Columbus thought he had hit 

Any popular mystery attracts all sorts of 
solutions and insights, usually contradic- 
tory. The UFO phenomenon has had more 
ihan its fair share of opportunists, among 
the most common being the psychic 

fortune-tellers. People interested in UFOs 
love to read thrilling predictions about 
future sightings, imminent final con- 
firmations, and impending diplomatic 
recognition of aliens. So a continuous 
stream of new predictions distracts the 
public from ever checking up on the old. 

Jeanne Dixon, billed as "the world's 
most phenomenal seer," made such a 
prediction in the summer of! 976. Said 
the famed psychic, "I know that these 
aliens, who are really just better devel- 
oped humans from a planet on the oppo- 
site side of the sun, will begin transmitting 
their secrets to us no later than August 
1977, They will also land by then. Their 
help will enable us to eventually cure 
everything from cancer to heart disease, 

Microscopic blowups of UFO photographed nver Bri^i 'top: ;,■■ 
pattern, which rules out darkroom retouching- Could Oe gonoir, 
experts call a rare, needienke doud formsiion photographed m 

qually distributed grain 
<nlike the below UFO, which 
White Sands, N.M.. in 1957. 

feed the world's hungry, and end war." 

These are certainly beautiful forecasts, 
and one might be forgiven if one hopes 
they will come to pass. But, sad to say, 
the deadline is more than a-year past, Nor 
is there any secret planet "on the oppo- 
site side of the sun, " a favorite gimmick of 
UFO buffs and science fiction writers 
alike. Its natural gravitational forces on 
other planets would have made it abun- 
dantly evident centuries ago. 

Well, UFO devotees can respond, per- 
haps Jeanne Dixon's predictions did 
come true but the government is hiding it 
from us. This theory (and of course ft is 
barely conceivable — but better still, it 
cannot be disproved by skeptics) is the 
motivation behind the recurring cycle of 
predictions that "this year" or maybe "by 
next year" the government will finally ad- 
mit that it has been in contact with UFOs. 

Understandably, UFO clubs and au- 
thors have been the main source of such 
reports, which began as early as 1 952. 
But from time to lime a more reputable 
(presumably more responsible) press 
source stumbles on the story again. 

The latest reincarnation of the govern- 
ment secrecy story appeared in US News 
and World Report early last year, Said a 
brief note in the "Washington Whispers" 
page, "Before this year is out, the govern- 
ment will make unsettling disclosures 
about what it knows about UFOs." 

But once again, the time limit ran out, 
and nothing showed up. As it turned out, 
Jody Powell had made some incoherent 
and poorly researched remarks about the 
ongoing declassification of the old. Air 
Force "Bluebook" files. 

By the time this present column is in 
print, readers should be able to judge the 
accuracy of some additional predictions. 
A year ago, various tabloid newspapers 
listed the following prognostications: 

"Top psychic" Clarisa Bernhardt told 
the National Enquirer in December 1 977 
that "within one year, sightings by govern- 
ment officials will be made public." Also, 
famed Miami psychic Mickey Dahne told 
the tabloid that "the first real concrete 
evidence that there are such visitors from 
outer space will be with us next year," 

Top UFO expert Leo Sprinkle of the 
University of Wyoming was even more 
hopeful last Januarywhen he announced 
that "we expect 1 978 to be the year that 
mankind takes its biggest step forward to 
solving the mystery of the UFO, We will 
learn more about UFOs in 1978 than ev- 
erything we have learned about this phe- 
nomenon in the last fifty years." 

As 1 978 draws to a close, these psy- 
chics and UFO experts are running out 
of time to be proved right. Sadly, the re- 
peated failure of such predictions never 
seems to prove anybody wrong. There is 
surely going to be a new spate of predic- 
tions, and "informed sources" for 1979 
being the "big UFO year." And if these 
guesses, too. fail to materialize, there is 
always next year. . . . OQ 



I Eli 

L ,ere may still be places on eiffm 
where Grand Marnier isn't of fered after dinner. 



^■^k s the controversy over safety measures for recombi- 

J^^^nant DNA research slowly simmers, a new but related 
#^^^^ political debate has arisen: Should the products of ge- 
m » netic engineering, new forms of life, be- patentable? 

Already, along list of patent applications for various aspects of 
recombinant DNA techniques has built.up at the Patent and 
Trademark Office (PTO), but the outcome of these cases will 
have to await the Supreme Court's ruling on two earlier cases re- 
viewed before an appeals court late last year. Besides the philo- 
sophical ramifications involved in permitting patents for living or- 
ganisms, the court's decision will have an important impact on 
the development ot industrial processes using biological tech- 

The issue of whether a living organism is unpatentable perse 
was first raised by Dr. Ananda Chakrabarty, a microbiologist 
working for General Electric, who developed a strain of the bac- 
teriapseudomonas that is capable of degrading all the different 
blends of oil in an industrial spill. Chakrabarty imparted this new 
ability, absent in naturally occurring strains, tothepseudomonas 
by incorporating extrachromosomal rings of genes, or plasmids, 
into individual bacterial cells. Despite the novelty and obvious 
utility of his invention, the PTO turned down the patent on the 
grounds that the. bacteria were "products of nature" and, as 
such, were unpatentable, and that as living organisms the bac- 
teria were nonstatutory subject matter and hence did not qualify 
for a patent under existing legislation. 

In a second case concurrently appearing before the PTO, a 
group of scientists working with the pharmaceutical manufac- 
turer Upjohn Company sought a patent for a "biologically pure 
culture," nonexistent in nature, o! the microorganism Strepto- 
myces vellosus, which had been isolated to produce high yields 
of the antibiotic lincomycin. Again, the PTO rejected the patent 
application but significantly focused on the fact that this is a "liv- 
ing" organism as the sole basis for its classification as unpat- 
entable. The PTO argued that if Congress had intended living or- 
ganisms to be covered by patent legislation, then it would not 
have passed a separate Plant Patent Act in 1 930, making an ex- 
ception for certain types of plants. 

Upjohn appealed to the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals 
(CCPA), which, in a widely publicized verdict, reversed the 

PTO's decision and awarded the patent. The CCPA rejected the 
distinction between living and nonliving matter as irrelevant to 
the question of the culture's patentability, arguing that it was "il- 
logical, , .that the existence of life in a manufacture or composi- 
tion of matter . , . removes it from the category of subject matter 
which canbe patented. . . ." 

On similar grounds, the CCPA subsequently awarded 
Chakrabarty a patent for his oil-devouring strain of bacteria, but 
in June, the Supreme Court ordered the CCPA to reconsider its 
decision to allow the Upjohn patent, thus bringing the-dispute 
back to square one. 

The intention behind the Supreme Court's ruling has been 
hotly debated in Washington, but one interpretation is lhat since 
existing patent legislation is not explicit about the patentability of 
living organisms, the matter should be decided by congression- 
nal committee rather than in the courts, In preparation for this 
event, Congress has already begun to discuss under whose ju- 
risdiction the case should fall and will probably seek assistance 
on the case from the Office of Science and Technology Policy. 

With companies investing millions of dollars inbiotechnical re- 
search, the outcome of this issue may have important conse- 
quences on the future funding of this developing industry. Deny- 
ing theowner or creator the protection and economic benefits of 
the patent system may prove a deterrent to the development of 
useful technologies in this field. Under existing legislation, pat- 
ents on biological processes afford some protection for new 
technologies, but patenting living organisms would further safe- 
guard against others profiting from their commercial usage. 

In this regard, the Plant Patent Act of 1 930 was introduced' to 
remedy what was then seen as a deficiency in the patent system 
that hindered progress in the botanical sciences. The act's pur- 
pose was described in both Senateand House committee 
reports to be to "assist in placing agriculture .on a basis of eco- 
nomic equality with industry" and to "remove the existing dis- 
crimination between plant developers and industrial inventors." 

Congress may soon be facing a similar issue of "discrimina- 
tion" against the biological sciences. But elaboration or outright 
addition to existing patent legislation will noibe easy, for the very 
crux of this issue is that Congress may have to address the prob- 
lem of defining life itself. —KATHLEEN MCAULIFFE 



Whatever happened to the 
Picturephone? Introduced at 
the 1964 World's Fair, AT&T's 
television-telephone thai lets 
callers see each other while 
Ihey talk had been generally 
dismissed as a prohibitively 
expensive gimmick born be- 
fore its time. 

The Picturephone, how- 
ever, is alive and well in a dif- 
ferent form: The Picturephone 
Meeting Service. Quietly, for 
almost two years, hundreds of 
people have been using the 
service, which allows a group 
of people in one cily to meet 
face to face with a group in 
another city- 
Hookups are available be- 
tween two of any four cities: 
New York, San Francisco, 
Chicago, and Washington, 
D.C. The rates range from 
$2.50 per minute (between 
New York and Washington, 
D.C.) to $6.50 a minute (be- 

tween New York and San Fran- 
cisco), An hour's business 
meeting from coast to coast 
costs S400 — less than one 
person's roundtrip airfare, 

Picturephone meeting 
rooms are like small tv broad- 
casting chambers. They have 
three automatic cameras and 
two viewing screens — one to 
receive incoming images and 
another to monitor your own. 
Everything is controlled by the 
participants: there are no 
technicians present. Cus- 
tomers can show slides, doc- 
uments, and other objects 
and instantly transmit photo- 
copies of them from one end 
of the hookup to the other. The 
entire meeting can be vid- 
eotaped for future reference. 
The service will be offered in 
color within a year, and AT&T 
is increasing the number of 
cities in the network. 

Picturephone in the home? 
The Bell System predicts 
they'll have it by 19S1. 

A group of businessmen in New York hold a meeting with their branch 
office in San Francisco using the Picturephone Meeting Service, 


RosalynYalow, last year's 
Nobel Prize winner for work on 
the development of radioim- 
munoassays, has turned 
down the Ladies' Home Jour- 
nal Woman of the Year award 
because she feels that it is "in- 



mm #1 

it* : 




i *• 



1 . *i 


Prize-winner and woman-ot-the- 
yearYalow: Told she'd "better get 
her nose out of a test tubs. " 

consistent and unwise to have 
awards restricted to women or 
to men in fields of endeavor 
where excellence is not 
clearly sex-related." 

According to the Washing- 
ton Post's account of the re- 
ception held for the ten 
awardees (among them was 
First Lady Rosalyn Carter), 
Yalow's stand was met with 
some annoyance. "I think 
she'd better get her nose out 
of a test tube, " said Liz Car- 
penter, former press secretary 
to Lady Bird Johnson. And 
Lenore Hershey, the maga- 
zine's editor, expressed the 
opinion that "when 51 .3 per- 
cent of the Nobel Prize win- 
ners are women, ! will agree 
that the Woman of the Year 
award is old-fashioned." 


The drug is called Gerovital 
H3, and it may be instrumental 
in halting or even reversing the 
aging process 

The rejuvenating qualities of 
GH3 were first discovered in 
the early 1950s by Ana Asian at 
Rumania's Institute of Geriat- 
rics in Bucharest when she 
was treating elderly patients. 
suffering from rheumatism. 
Asian found that injecting her 
patients with the common local 
anesthetic procaine (known in 
the U.S. as Novocaine), along 
with two other ingredients — 
benzoic acid and potassium 
salts — notonly reduced pain 
but alleviated a wide range of 

At a scientific meeting held 
in 1956 at Karlsruhe, West 
Germany, Asian presented the 
results of five years of intensive 
research on more than 2500 
elderly patients. She reported 
that GH3 eliminated depres- 
sion, helped to restore mental 
awareness, produced muscu- 
larvigor, and reduced hyper- 
tension, arthritis, and angina 
pectoris. In addition, it had re- 
grown hair on some patients 
and recolored hair on others. 

Further positive results from 
successive tests led the 
Rumanian government to set 
up treatment clinics all over the 
country. By 1 975, more than 
100,000 elderly patients had 
received GH3 treatment in 
these clinics, including such 
world-renowned figures as 
MaoTse-tung, Nikita 
Khrushchev, Saudi Arabia's 
King ibn-Saud, W. Somerset 
Maugham, and former U.S. 
Vice-President Henry Wallace. 

In the U.S., there has been 
considerable controversy over 
GH3. However, a recently pub- 

lishedbook,GH3— Wilt It 
Keep You Young Longer?, by 
science writer Herbert Bailey, 
presents a formidable amount 
of evidence from both Euro- 
pean and American studies 
that corroborate the beneficial 
effects of the drug. Moreover, 
none of the studies have re- 
vealed any harmful side ef- 
fects of GH3. 1! further tests 
confirm its positive effects, the 
Federal Food and Drug Ad- 
ministration may eventually lift 
its ban onthe manufacture and 
saleof GH3— making itavail- 
' ableforthe treatment of old-age 
ailments in thiscountry. 


Male lizards and snakes 
have not one penis but two, 
called hemipenes, each of 
which is connected to its own 

How does an aroused 
snake or lizard decide which 
hemipenis to use? David 
Crews of Harvard's Museum 

of Comparative Zoology is try- 
ing to find o.ut. So far, he's dis- 
covered that lizards of the 
species Anolis carolensis do 
not naturally favor one 
hemipenis over the other. And 
when Crews surgically re- 
moved one hemipenis, the 
lizards simply chose the mat- 
ing posture that allowed them 
to use their remaining organ. 

But when Crews half- 
castrated the animals, remov- 
ing just one testis, the lizards 
tended to favor the hemipenis 
that still had itstestis intact, 
Crews thus concludes that 
sensory feedback from the 
testis is important in helping 
these reptiies decide which 
hemipenis to use. 

Wary of taking a sexist ap- 
proach, Crews is now study- 
ing the female lizard's rale in 
mating behavior. The female 
produces its eggs on alter- 
nate sides and the male al- 
ways appears to mount on the 
side with the biggest follicle. 


^&L Tifvaata. . % "j, ... Jh» 5 ' 


Lizards mating: The male has two sex organs. No one yet knows how 
he-or any male snake or lizard-decides which one to use. 

Crews intends to find out what 
happens when a female with 
only one ovary tries to mate 
with a male castrated on that 
same side. 

Why do snakes and lizards 
have two penes? Is there an 
evolutionary advantage? No, 
says Crews, who points out 
thatsingle-penised animals 
have survived in similar envi- 
ronments. He says it appears 
to be just a random biological 

— KieranColman 


This pillis strictly forthe 
dogs. The FDA recently ap- 
proved Upjohn : s oral canine 
contraceptive, and now Fido 
can have sex withoutfear. 

Trade-named Cheque, this 
planned parenthood for pups 
is dispensed by veterinarians 
for about five cents a day and 
is claimed to be 90 percent ef- 
fective in stopping eStrus 
(heat) in bitches of all sizes 
and descriptions. 

Cheque contains mibole- 
rone, a non-progesterone 
steroid, which, unlike former 
progesterone-based dog con- 
traceptives, has virtually no 
harmful side effects. 

Although the U.S. has a 
birthrate of up to 1 0,000 pups 
an hour, most dog owners do 
not spay their pets because of 
surgery. Now Cheque-mated 
canine couples can breed a 
reasonable number of pups a 
few months after being with- 
drawn from the drug. 

"The actual building of roads 
devoted to motor cars is not 
for the near future, in spite of 
many rumors to that effect. " 

—Harpers Weekly, 1902 


Bowlers are much more 

likely to smile when talking 
with other bowlers than they 
are after knocking down a lot 
of pins. In a bowling alley, 
says psychologist Robert 
Kraut, friendly interactions 

This bowler finds nothing to 
laugh at here. But wait until -he 
gets back with his companions. 

produce more smiles than ath- 
letic accomplishments. 

At the.annual meeting of the 
Animal Behavior Society in 
Seattle. Washington, Kraui 
showed videotapes of bowl- 
ers reacting to strikes and 
spares with stony faces, then 
breaking into smiles during 
conversations with other 
bowlers. Kraut and Robert E. 
Johnston, both of Cornel! Uni- 
versity, checked the reactions 
of 350 bowlers. The. bowlers 
laughed 37 times when facing 
friends, but only four times 
when facing the pins. 

This may indicate that it's 
more likely that people smile 
to promote friendly interac- 
tions than to celebrate some- 
thing good that's happened. 
—Barbara Ford 



A radio-wave beam that 
does the job of a laser has al- 
ready found a wide range oi 

appllcalions in industry and 
research. Energystics Inc. of 
Toledo, Ohio, calls its new de- 
vice the Energy Beam and 
expects it to replace laser and 
electron beams for a number 
of purposes because it is 
more compact, less expen- 
sive, and more efficient than 
competing devices. 

The Energy Beam may look 
and function like a laser, but it 
is an "entirely new phenome- 
non," according to Thomas E. 
Fairbairn, its inventor and 
Energystics's seniorvice- 
president of research and de- 
velopment. Lasersget their 
power from a concentrated 
beam of coherent light, but 
the Energy Beam works by 
focusing high-powered radio 
waves Ihrough a column of 
conductive gas. The elec- 
tromagnetic energy in the gas 
is then transmitted to the 
targetmaterial, producing 

temperatures of 19,5O0°C. 

Laboratory tests have 
shown the Energy Beam to be 
ahighly versatile device, it 
can be used to cut, drill, weld 
surface alloy steel, and im- 
pregnate and heat-treat a 
wide range of materials. Other 
potential uses of the Energy 
Beam include spectro- 
analysis of chemicals, space, 
heating, and pollution control. 

One of the most effective 
applications of the Energy 
Beam, however, involves 
using it as a modulator for a 
large laser beam. This 
patented system is called the 
Laser Energy Beam (LEB) 
and combines the best of 
both technologies, A million- 
watt laser normally requires a 
million-watt laser modulator. 
But when the Energy Beam is 
used instead, a much smaller 
energy input is necessary. 
The Energy Beam also en- 
hances the laser's power, and 
since its cost per watt is one 
tenth that of the laser's, the 
result is a very powerful beam 

Energy beam solders a brick back together with a 
Not a laser, it's a beam powered by radio waves ; 
38 OMNI 


Bats hang upside down to 
reduce the strain on their 
slender hind legs, or so be- 
lieves Purdue University 
biologist Donna J. Howell. 
Generally, the thickness of leg 
bones in mammals increases 
in proportion to body weight. 
Bats are an exception to this 

India fruit bals assume the time- 
honored upside-down position. 
Their thighbones are too slender 
to support their body weight 

Howell and biologist Joe 

Pylka of Princeton University 
measured the femurs 
(thighbones) of the skeletons 
of 167 bats representing 45 
different species. They found 
that "according to engineer- 
ing models" the femurs of 
bats are "too long and slender 
to support their weight." 

Hanging upside down ap- 
parently reduces the strain on 
the hind legs. The tension 
(stretching) of hanging is 
easier to bear than the com- 
pression stress of standing 

Howell and Pylka speculate 

that bats may have evolved 
skinny femurs as a result of 
their feeding habits. A bat 
must snare insects on the 
wing, and heavy bones would 
be a deterrent to agile, darting 
■ The biologists found one 
notable exception to the 
slender-femur rule: The in- 
famous vampire bat has 
thighbones 30 percent thicker 
than those of other bats. Be- 
cause vampires go for bigger 
game, they have evolved 
sturdier thighbones to sup- 
port themselves so they can 
stealthily approach iheir vie- , 
tims from the ground "almost 
as if f hey were on tiptoe, "ex- 
plains Howell. 


The transfer of "time mem- 
ory" from one honeybee to 

anofher by means of a brain 
transplant operation has re- 
cently been reported by Ger- 
man researchers at the Insti- 
tute of Zoology, U ntversity of 
Rontgenring, according to 
New Scientist magazine. 

Afier training bees to re- 
ceive food at the hive at a set 
time every day, the German 
research team cut off the 
heads of donor bees and 
transplanted a part of the 
brain known as the mushroom 
bodies into the brains of un- 
trained recipients. Two fo 
three days later, the new own- 
ers of the extra set of mush- 
room bodies began to ap- 
proach the feeding site at the 
donors' feeding time. In fact, 
over 60 percent of the bees' 
visits lo the hive during the 
day occurred in this short 
period. Neither sham-operated 
bees (whose brains were 
opened up but with no new 
structures implanted) nor 

bees receiving the mushroom 
bodies of untrained donors 
showed this change in their 
feeding habits. 

Once the experiment was 
completed, the scientists 
examined the bees' brains 
and discovered that no nerve 
connections between the 
donors' mushroom bodies 
and the brains of recipients 
had been made. Something 
was transmitted that made the 
bees' biological feeding. 
clocks change their pace, but 
what it is and why It takes two 
to three days to work still re- 
main elusive. 


Find a mate for Lonesome 
George and win £10,000! 
Lonesome George is the 

last known surviving- member 
of the Pinta subspecies of the 
Galapagos tortoise. Several 
decades ago, his subspecies 
was declared extinct. It 
seems thai Pinta. a tinyisiand 
in the Galapagos group off 
the western coast of South 
America, has been overrun 

by goats, which love to eat 

Nevertheless, five years 
ago Lonesome George sud- 
denly appeared from behind 
a rock and was safely carted 
off to a protective pen. by local 
scientists. Since then, the 
Charles Darwin Research Sta- 
tion on the island has been 
searching in vain for signs of a 
female. Now, according to 
New Scientist, the station has- 
put out an appeal to zoos all 
over th& world asking for a 
Pinta female. A.S1 0,000 re- 
ward is offered to anyone who 
can find George a mate. 

"Manmasters nature not by 
force but by understanding. 
This'is why science has 
succeeded where magic 
failed: because it has looked 
for no spetl to cast on nature. " 
— Jacob Bronowski 

"The Russians have put a 
smail ball up inthe air. 
That does not raise my 
apprehensions oneiota." 

— Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Lonesome George: Find him a male and $10,000 Is yours. This 
member ol the Pinta- Galapagos tortoises taces imminent extim 


leading manufacturer of 
women's undergarments, has 
come to a rather startling 
conclusion — women are .be- 
coming tube-shaped! 

Berlei found that British 
women have not only become 
taller during the last 25 years 

The explanations for these 
changes in shape range from 
poor eating habits to. hor- 
monal abnormalities caused 
by additives in food. What- 
ever the cause, the traditional 
hourglass shape is no longer 
symbolic of today's woman 
Berlei believes a more accu- 
rate representation of its typi- 
cal customer would be 
"something rather like a thick- 
ened broomhandle." 

but they've also developed 
smaller breasts and hips 
along with thicker waists. 
"One might even say they're 
becoming man-shaped, " a 
Berlei spokesman said, 

These findings, reported in 
the London Observer, support 
those o( a similar investigation 
conducted in the United 
States by Sears Roebuck. 
Sears found thai American 
women were experiencing the 
same "straightening of the 
curves" phenomenon as their 
British counterparts, with one 
marked difference: the 
American hip has been in- 
creasing, rather than diminish- 
ing, in size over the years. 



The long-awaited home- 
videodisc may be here by 
Christmas. A silvery plastic 
platter resembling an LP rec- 
ord, the videodisc is played 
on a special device hooked 
up to your television. It lets 
you watch movies right at 

MCA Video-Vision, Inc. 
promises that videodiscs of a 

Over 300 video recordings will 
be on sale before year's end. 

wide assortment of movies — 
including old cinematic hits 
by Charlie Chaplin. W.C. 
Fields, and Mae West, along 
wiih more recent films— will 
be sold in stores before the 
end of the year. 

The videodiscs run 60 min- 
utes per side, in black and 
white or color, with sound. The 
player, to be made available 
at the same time under the 
brand name Magnavox, uses 
a solid-state laser beam, 
rather than a stylus, to pick up 
the sounds and Images from 
the discs. Besides eliminating 
needle scratch, the laser pro- 
40 OMNI 

vides the home viewer with 
several professional features, 
including slow motion, fast 
forward, freeze-framing for 
in-depth study, and two dis- 
crete audio channels that can 
be jacked into a home stereo 
sound system. 

The Magnavox player will 
sell for $500 and the MCA 
discs, for about $1 2 apiece. 
Not all the videodiscs are 
movies. Of the 300 already 
recorded, half are in the areas 
of opera, ballet, symphonic 
music, as well as "how-tos," 
sports, hobbies, educational 
aids, and cooking. 


The energy issue has per- 
meated almost every facet of 
modern life — right down to the 
shirt on your back, Not surpri- 
singly, the question of whether 
cotton or polyester is less "en- 
ergy cosily" to society has set 
the stage for a major confron- 
tation between the manufac- 
turers of natural and synthetic 

The battle of one-upman- 
ship began when the Mational 
Cotton Council produced im- 
pressive figures showing that 
the energy requiredto 
produce cotton fiber is one 
fifth that needed to produce 
polyester. To counter this 
claim, the Man Made Fiber 
Producers Assoc, Inc. ar- 
gued forcibly that If the main- 
tenance and "replacement 
energy" for the cotton gar- 
ment (which wears out before 
the synthetic) is taken into ac- 
count, the synthetic garment 
requires only 65 
percent as much energy 
as cotton. 

In an attempt to resolve this 
crucial question, four engi- 

neers at Yale University re- 
inquished their more schol- 
arly pursuits to get down to the 
dirty ordeal of laundering. 
They washed, dried, and 
when necessary, ironed cot- 
ton, polyester, and blends 
shirts while monitoring the 
amount of energy consumed 
n every cycle. Emerging from 
the washroom 50 launderings 
later, the Yale team concluded 
that while lessenergy is 
needed to make a cotton shirt, 
this advantage is far out- 
weighed by energy required 
in maintenance. In the long 
haul, polyester and blends 
shirts not only are less energy 
consuming but last about 
50 percent longer. 


Space exploration is now 
big business. Over 1 1 1 nations 
are in the race to conquer and 
exploit this last great frontier, 
and by the year 2000 "As- 
troBusiness" should result in 
new sources of energy, in- 
novative products, new public 

services, more jobs, and 
perhaps even spacetourism 
tor the elite. 

Already$1 billion in world- 
wide revenues has been 
grossed from space-related 
business. By 2000, this figure 
could escalate to $20 million, 
according to a recent study by 
Rockwell International and 
Science Applications, Inc. for 
NASA's Marshall Space Flight 

I n the plans laid down in the 
NASA report, a satellite solar- 
power system would be built 
in the 1 980s. By 2000, these 
satellites would be providing 
solar power for factories and 
homes on earth as well as 
powering factories in space. 

And very shortly we may be 
able to talk to anyone any- 
where on the globe with wire- 
less pocket telephones that 
would operate via satellite. 
Other planned satellite ser- 
vices are a worldwide 
medical-advice network and a 
national information service 
provided by the Library of 

Space shuffle hauls solar collectors into orbit. NASA hopes to build 
| extensive satellite solar-power system by the 1980s. 

According to NASA, space 
industrialization is also ex- 
pected to improve America's 
balance of trade (by as much 
as $50 billion by the year 2010) 
and create as many as 1 .9 mil- 
lion new jobs. 

BUZZER . . . 

The sound of a buzzer may 
be as goad as a shot of am- 
phetamine. In a Pavlovian 
conditioning experiment with 
rats, researchers at Albert 
Einstein College of Medicine 
in New York City have dem- 
onstrated that external events 
or signals can trigger chemi- 
cal changes in the brain, 
mimicking the effects of 
psychoactive drugs. 

Stanley Schiff and his as- 
sociate Wagner Bridger 
paired amphetamine injec- 
tions in the rats with a buzzer 
over several conditioning 
trials. On the tenth day they in- 
jected the rats with a harmless 
saline solution when the buzz- 
er sounded. The result? The 
rats scurried frantically 
around their cages just as 
they had done on previous 
trials when amphetamine had 
been administered. 

Schiff went on to show that 
the rats' bizarre behavior had 
been caused by increased 
activity of the brain transmitter 
dopamine, evidently brought 
on by the saline injection- 
buzzer combination. Am- 
phetamine has the same 
effect as dopamine on the 
nervous system. 

These findings shed new 
light on the so called "placebo 
effect," The expectation of a 
drug's effect, it seems, may 
be sufficient in itself to bring 
about biochemical changes. 
"What happens is not 'just in 

the mind' but in the physical 
brain," says Bridger. "Sug- 
gestion is not just psycho- 
logical but also biological," 


Heart patients whose coro- 
nary arteries are severely 
clogged with cholesterol or 
other plaquelike material 
must often submit to coronary 
bypass surgery to save their 

lives and to relieve agonizing 
pain called angina. A bypass 
operation costs $1 2,500 and 
requires two to three weeks 
of hospitalization. 

Now a new procedure 
called balloon catheterization 
can accomplish the same 
thing at one tenth the cost — 
and requires a hospital-re- 
covery period of only two 

Surgeons insert a small, 
flexible balloon-tip catheter 
into the clogged coronary ar- 
tery. The balloon is then in- 
flated, thereby flattening the 
plaque against the artery wall. 

This allows more room tor the 
blood to flow freely and 
doesn't significantly stretch 
the artery. 

Thirty U.S. patients have 
been treated with the balloon 
catheter, the majority of cases 
having been performed by 
doctors Simon Stertzer and 
Eugene Wallsh ot Lenox Hill 
Hospital in New York City. Re- 
sults have been good; and no 
one has died because of the 

Themethod was developed 
by Swiss cardiologist An- 
dreas Gruntzig. 


To assure that people a 
thousand years in the future 
will know what a white 
rhinoceros looks like, cell 
biologist Dr. T.C. Hsu has es- 
tablished a 300-animal zoo 
right in his own laboratory. 

"I have everything from 
aardvark to zebra," boasts 
Hsu, And they're all neatly 
tucked away in a small freezer 
on the fifth floor of the M.D. 
Anderson Hospital in Hous- 
ton, Texas. 

Actually, it's a clone zoo, 
and scientist Hsu claims he 
can preserve the cells of vari- 
ous animals forever in his 
special liquid-nitrogen 
freezer, capable of maintain- 
ing a constant temperature of 
-240°C. "Atthat tempera- 
ture," says Hsu, "the cells are 
neither dead nor alive. You 
might say they're sleeping for 

The plan? Should the day 
ever arise when the process 
of cell differentiation, or clon- 
ing, is perfected, the scientist 
hopes that his future col- 
leagues will use his zoo lo 
breed animals that have 
become extinct. 


The Indian Hill mynah (Gra- 
cularellgiosa) has long en- 
joyed a reputation as the 
world's best-talking bird. 

Now the mynah has added 
another feather to its cap. Ani- 
mal behaviorist Thomas H. 
Turney of New Mexico Tech 
has trained an Indian Hill 
mynah to say "hello" to photo- 
graphs of people and to re- 
main mute when presented 
with photographs of trees. 
No matter what the context 
in which people appear — 
alone, in crowds, wearing 
sunglasses — the mynah 
seems to have no trouble rec- 
ognizing them and respond- 
ing "hello." 

A few other birds, including 
the pigeon and blue jay, have 
been shown to recognize ob- 
jects in photographs, but 
Turney's is the first laboratory 
demonstration of the ability 
of a bird to associate a vi- 
sual concept like "person" 
with a learned vocaliza- 
tion. —Barbara Ford 



Magnetically levitated 
trains may become the pre- 
dominant form of long- 
distance transportation of the 
future, leaving the airplane 
behind as an outmoded vehi- 
cle of the past. A21-minute 
trip from Los Angeles to New 
York may sound like science 
fiction now, but the technol- 
ogy for using electromagnetic 
fields to levitate and propel 
passenger trains may be only 
ten years away. 

Several different systems 
designs for magnetically levi- 
tated, or maglev, trains have 
been explored by Ford Motor 
Company, the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, the 
Rand Corporation, and the Mi- 
tre Corporation. The best sys- 
tem to emerge employs pow- 
erful superconducting mag- 
nets along the bottom of the 
vehicle to create a repulsive 
force against current 

induced in a conducting 
aluminum guideway. The re- 
pulsive levitation acts against 
the force of gravity, raising the 
vehicle one foot above the 
guideway. A separate super- 
conducting system achieves 
propulsion — the train is pulled 
forward by attraction to the 
magnetic field in the guide- 
way ahead of it while a repul- 
sive force pushes the vehicle 
from behind. 

The advantage of "electro- 
magnetic flight" over winged 
flighi is speed. Aerodynamic 
drag increases with an air- 
plane's speed, but magnetic 
drag reaches a peak relatively 
quickly and then decreases 
with speed, Once air resis- 
tance is eliminated, a cruis- 
ing speed of up to 22,400 kilo- 
meters per hour is attainable. 

Building underground 
semi-evacuated tunnels of lit- 
tle or no air resistance for the 
maglev system has already 
been researched by the Rand 

Magnetically levitated and propelled trains might someday hit speeds 
up to 22,400 kilometers per hour in semi-airtight tunnels. 

Corporation. The estimated 
cost for the system, including 
equipment and'tunneling, is 
approximated at $30 million 
per kilometer. Although this 
price may seem prohibitively 
high, Rand projects that the 
revenue derived from long- 
haul domestic travel will make 
the underground maglev sys- 
tem a profitable endeavor. In- 
deed, economics may permit 
the lowering of one-way, 
coast-to -coast travel fare io as 
little as £50. 

In response to a widespread 
scarcity of rhesus monkeys, the 
Indian government banned their 
export on March 31, greatly de- 
creasing the number available 
for scientific research. As our 
closest primate relatives, rhesus 
monkeys are indispensible exper- 
imental models in biomedicine. 
Their shortage threatens the con- 
tinuation of many essential health 

"Even if the propeller had the 
power of propelling a vessel, it 
would be found altogether 
useless in practice, because 
of the power being applied in 
the stern it would be 
absolutely impossible to 
make the vessel steer." 

— Sir William Symonds, 

Surveyor of the 

British Navy, 1837 


Nothing about the mud bac- 
teria migrating across the 
microscope slide toward the 
northwest laboratory window 
Was that unusual. It could eas- 
ily have been explained as an 
affinity for the incoming light. 
Yet when microbiologist 
Richard Blakemore examined 
the phenomenon more 
closely, he discovered the 
bacteria had no interest in the 
window but were in fact 
swimming toward the earth's 
magnetic north pole. Blake- » 
more, of the Woods Hole 
Oceanographic Institution 
Massachusetts, later found 
he could get the microbes to 
change direction merely by 
moving a small magnet close 
to the slide, 

Using an electron micro- 
scope, Blakemore discov- 
ered that several species of 
bacteria found in the sedi- 
ment bottoms of fresh- and 
saltwater ponds contain 
chains of iron-rich particles. 
These particles, he believes, 
act like miniature bar magnets. 

Working with biophysicist 
AdrianusJ. Kalmijn, Blake- 
more found that by subjecting 
the creatures to a strong 
magnetic pulse, they could 
cause the strictly northbound 
bacteria to reverse their polar- 
ity and swim south. Though 
the biological use of this 
magnetism remains a mys- 
tery, scientists speculate that 
it may direct the bacteria to 
sediments favorable to 

— Kenneth Jon Rose 

"The man with anew idea 
is a crank until that idea 
— Samuel Langhorne Clemens 

He's more expensive 

than the $6 Million Man 

and he lives in Utah. 




The rumor began in 1972. That's 
when Martin Caidin's SF novel Cy- 
borg was published. The rumor 
intensified when ABC turned Cy- 
borg into the popular television program 
Six Million Dollar Man. The hero of the tv 
series, Steve Austin, is an astronaut 
whose body was almost destroyed in a 
rockel-sled accident. But by using bits 
of plastic, titanium, sophisticated elec- 
tronics, and a nuclear power pack, 
medical scientists put him back to- 
gether again. Moreover, not only was old 
Steve restored to peak condition, he 
was given superhuman capabilities. He 
now leaps over buildings, hears conver- 
sations half a mile away, sees with zoom- 
lens accuracy, and resists physical as- 
saults that would fell a water buffalo. 
It all adds up to good fun on the tube, 
But the rumor is this: Many people 
speculate— and it's even been reported 
in the press— that the basic story line of 
Steve Austin is true. That somewhere— 
perhaps in a supersecret Houston labo- 
ratory.or hidden among the serpentine I 
medical facilities of the National Insti- | 
tutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland — * 
there exists a team of scientists who are 2 
churning out Cyborgs at an assembly- 2 
line rate. f 

In search of the real S\y, Million Dollar £ 

Man, I went to Salt Lake City, home of Ihe 
University of Utah, which has the most 

comprehensive bioengineering program 
in America. Utah has in fact already out- 
classed the Six Million Dollar Man in at 
least one respect — cost. This year the uni- 
versity will spend S2.4 million more than 
was spent on the theoretical Steve Austin, 
a total of $8.4 million, on bioengineering, 
the application o( space-age technology 
to the repair and maintenance ot the hu- 
man body. And Utah employs more than 
360 engineers, medical scientists, and 
technicians who work directly on what are 
popularly called "bionics" projects. 

I talked to Stephen C. Jacobsen, direc- 
tor of the university's Projects and Design 
Lab and inventor of many outrageously fu- 
turistic devices, including a "thinking" arti- 
ficial arm. He had a simple response to the 
claim that the government has a secret 
Cyborg laboratory; 

"Bullshit," said Jacobsen. "If the gov- 
ernment already has a Cyborg, well then, 
they're wasting a lot of money on us." He 
refers to the fact that most of Utah's 
bioengineering budget comes from fed- 
eral grants and contracts. 

Members of the bioengineering team at 
Utah agree that the tutu re lies not in build- 
ing Cyborgian robots, but in developing 
prostheses that mimic human body parts 
as closely as possible. Their research is 

focused on understanding how the body 
works and how to duplicate its physiology. 

The university entered the field 14 years 
ago and in 1 967 hired one of the pioneers 
of bioengineering, Willem J. Kolff, to head 
its artificial organs division. The Dutch- 
born Dr. Kolff invented the first artificial 
kidney during World War II. Working under 
near-secret conditions in the Nazi- 
occupied Netherlands, he saved the lives 
of end-stage kidney patients who, before 
his invention, would have been doomed. 
Today at Utah his mission remains un- 

"Our aim," says Kolff, "is to restore peo- 
ple." And there are few places where a 
better job of it is being done, Utah boasts 
spectacular programs in artificial vision 
and hearing, the most successful artificial 
heart project in the world, a new polymer- 
implant center that's developing plastic- 
like blood vessels, bladders, testicles, 
and other organs, and a whole assortment 
of other bioengineering marvels aimed at 
improving medical care. But for you Cy- 
borg fans, let's begin with the device that's 
the most suggestive of science fiction — 
the Utah arm, 

"I'm not trying to be obnoxious," said 
Stephen Jacobsen as he clipped an elec- 
tronic sensor to my forearm, "but this is the 
best artificial arm ever made." The elec- 
trode on my arm, explained Jacobsen. 

picks up electromyographic (EMG) sig- 
nals. "Every time you flex a muscle, electri- 
cal activity is produced on the surface of 
your skin. It's crawling all over you." 

A wire led from the sensor on my forearm 
to a one-kilogram (2.2 pound) artificial arm, 
which Jacobsen held just above the elbow 
by its stump socket. I held my arm straight 
at my side with my wrist relaxed. But when I 
flexed my wrist and raised my hand, the ar- 
tificial arm also moved upward, bending at 
the elbow. When I dropped my hand, the 
Utah arm dropped. Crudely speaking, the 
electrode had picked up the EMG signals 
on my forearm and transmitted them to a 
minicomputer in the arm, which in turn 
commanded the arm's electric motor to flex 
it up or down at the elbow. 

Of course, the arm is meant to be used 
by an amputee, in which case it is fitted 
over ihe patient's stump. Electrodes would 
pick up the amputee's EMG signals from 
his limb remnant and from his shoulders, 
chest, and back on the affected side. Be- 
sides elbow flexion, the amputee can oper- 
ate three other joint-movements; humeral 
rotation , wrist rotation, and hand closure, 

The beauty of the Utah arm is that an 
armless person doesn't have to be taught 
how to use it. "The amputee has muscles 
left in his stump that don't pull on anything 
anymore. But they're still connected to his 
brain. We pick up those signals and have 

<*The Utah team won't 

build Cyborgian 

robots. "Our aim" 

says Kolff, "is 

to restore peopled 

Right: Willem Kolff attaches 

ventricles of artificial heart to each 

other. Velbro holds them together. 

Opposite page: Close-up ot blind subject's 

wiring (top left). Cables attach 

to graphite button, which is the outlet 

lor an implant that runs directly 

into the brain. Craig, the subiec; : Has 

had the implant for three years. 

At top right, Craig shows Michael Mlade- 

jovsky what he is "seeing" by 

making marks on a blackboard. Mtadejovsky 

built the computer equipment that 

stimulates Craig's visual cortex. Alex- 

ander (bottom left) is one of 

many Utah calves that have survived 

long periods with air-driven 

plastic hearts. Dr, Kolff (bottom 

right) holds electric heart he hopes 

will someday be implanted in man. 

them control the arm," explains Jacobsen. 
"He doesn't have to do anything unnatural, 
like wink to close his hand." In effect, all the 
amputee must do is think and act as if he 
had a real arm and use his muscles as he 
did before amputation. The Utah arm does 
the rest. 

Jacobsen believes in developing medi- 
cal devices to the point where companies 
will want to pick them up and sell them to 
the public. And he often becomes so en- 
thusiastic when ticking off the arm's com- 
mercial attributes that he sounds a bit like a 
high-class Cuisinart salesman: 

"It has a nice, cosmetic exterior, a nice 
weight. It's quiet in operation, smooth, and 
doesn't pinch or cut clothing. It will gofast, 
slow, and lock in place. It will lift three 
pounds and support fifty pounds. It has a 
great electronic package. The batteries are 
easily replaceable by the amputee; even 
the circuits can be removed and replaced. 
It's repairable, maintainable, and can be 
sold at a reasonable price; under three 
thousand dollars." 

Jacobsen's style, though, stems simply 
from his desire to get ideas from the lab out 
into society, "So many ideas," he says, "just 
stay locked up in universities. The public 
pays for the research but never receives 
the benefits. It's like pouring money down a 

The Utah arm will be ready for home use 

in less than a year, according to Jacobsen, 

Right now it is still being tested in the 
Project and Design Lab. Several amputees 
have used the arm, but never outside the 
lab. Jacobsen and his staff fit a dozen or so 
electrodes to each subject. They then use a. 
computer to adjust the arm's movements to 
the amputee's EMG signals. Each arm 
musl be electronically tailored to its wearer. 

But recently, while working out equations 
for the arm's control system, Jacobsen 
made what he calls an "awe-inspiring" dis- 
covery. He noticed the possibility of making 
a feedback loop in the circuitry. WhatyoU'd 
then have is an adapter-controller in the 
arm that would automatically adapt its 
movements to the amputee. "You'd just 
slap an arm on somebody," says Jacobsen, 
"and they'd reach an agreement about how 
they were going to behave." 

Even though the Utah arm may be the 
best artificial arm in the world, Jacobsen 
scoffs at the better-than-human, bjonic 
concept of his work. Recently a major ency- 
clopedia company made a film about the 
Project and Design Lah. Jacobsen is still 
reeling from the results. "Jesus, I just saw a 
copy of it and it's the absolute worst," he 
says. "The narrator turned out to be the ac- 
tor who stars in The Bionic Woman [the tv 
show] and he was standing the whole time 
in front of this stupid panel of flashing lights 
that was obviously out of some tv series be- 

cause the discs in the computer didn't spin 
right," The effect of this kind of publicity is 
an illusion that amputees fitted with these 
new devices will be bionic supermen, 

Those people expecting a Cyborg- 
strong arm have a long wait ahead of them. 
The Utah arm can lift little more than one 
kilogram (three pounds). And while Jacob- 
sen says a one-kilogram lift is adequate for 
95 percent of all normal human arm activity, 
it's still a far cry from a real arm's capacity, 
somewhere between 23 and 45 kilograms 
(50-100 pounds). 

To make the arm more competitive with 
its human counterpart, Jacobsen says four 
technological advances must be made: 
First, he needs better motors (compared to 
muscles, says Jacobsen, "motors are 
crummy"). Second, he needs a way to. 'at- 
tach the prosthesis directly to the. bone so it 
can support more weight. Other break- 
throughs needed are a way to hook into the 
amputee's nerves for better control of the 
arm and some kind of feedback system so 
the wearer can tell without looking at it what 
his arm is doing. 

But the Utah team understands the basic 
physiology of arm movement. And in this 
respect Jacobsen says the arm is de- 
signed as far as it can go: "We don't need a 
fancy new designer. We need new 

Michael G. Mladejovsky (mal-YOFF-skl) 

has the opposite problem. Director of Ihe 
Neuroprostheses Program at Utah, he's 
been working on developing an artificial vi- 
sion system for almost a decade. He says 
facetiously that building a device that 
serves as an eye is a "mere techno- 
logical problem." He could build it right now 
with existing electronic hardware and tech- 
niques ... if only he knew what it was sup- 
posed to do. 

There's the rub. No one quite yet knows 
what happens in the brain that allows peo- 
ple to see. But no one has come closer to 
finding out than the scientists at Utah. 

William H. Dobelle started Utah's artificial 
vision program in 1969. Dobelle's role was 
to handle the physiological side — what 

goes on inside the visual cortex— while 
Mladejovsky handled the computer- 
hardware end of the project. 

They had been inspired by a 1968 dis- 
covery in England that blind persons, as 
well as people who see, can perceive spots 
of light called phosphenes when the visual 
cortex at the back of the brain is stimulated 
with electricity These phosphenes usually 
appear as bright, white dots— patients de- 
scribe them as "starlight" — but sometimes 
they're yellow-green, red, or blue-white. 

The Utah team's idea was this: if you 
could stimulate the cortex of a blind person 
in an orderly way, you could draw pictures 
in his mind composed of phosphenes. 
And, in a way, that's exactly what they've 

done — by using electronics and surgery 

Three years ago Dobelle and Mlade- 
jovsky found a willing subject, named 
Craig, who had been blinded in a gunshot 
accident. Craig agreed to some very scary 
brain surgery. The Utah team fashioned a 
two-inch square Teflon wafer studded with 
64 electrodes. Surgeons separated 
hemispheres of Craig's brain to expose 
the visual area, placed fhe wafer against it, 
then let the two brain halves drop back into 
position, holding the wafer in place. A 
connected to the implant was threaded 
through a hole in the back of the skull, then 
snaked forward between Ihe skull and 
scalp to a buttonlike connector that pro- 
truded (and still protrudes today) above 


Above: Array of artificial a 
shews a history of the pros- 
thesis. At tar left is 

del. Electronic parts in 
background are amplifiers for 
picking up electrical mus- 
cle signals. In two ptiotos at 
right top and center, Dr. 
Stephen Jacobsen, fatherotthe 
Utah arm, shows how it 
responds to signals. Sensor is 
clipped to his left forearm. 
When he raises his hand, the 

right: Modern hand compared to 

7666 hook. Near right: The 

tiny Superprobe blood sensor. 


FICTION His sworn duty was 
to protect the 

™ hospital — which 
would save 
lives. But there were 
enemies within. 


The sounds came from di- 
rectly behind him. Purr 
. . , click . . . swish Carlton 
Conlan Connager In- 
stinctively stepped to the side of 
the corridor, and the. Patient 
Transport Vehicle hummed its 
way past him. The patient, who 
was seated HR, half reclining, 
looked up in sudden fright when 
Connager's figure momentarily 
loomed over him. Then the PTV 
moved on, another click 
sounded followed by a 
swish as it turned a 

corner, and it disap- 
peared into the Hydrotherapy 

Connager scowled after it. 
He'd never heard of a hy- 
drotherapy patient who hadn't 
loved the treatments, but this 
one had been panicky. And 
when Connager paused at the 
open door and looked in, old 
Mannighan, the hydrotechni- 
cian, started and peered anx- 
iously at him until his acute 
myopia finally identified 

Patients, employees, staff. All of them 
were frightened. Some of them were 
terrified because they'd never been 
frightened before. 

Purr . . . click . . . swish. Connager 
stepped aside. Another patient, riding 
fully reclined, looked up at him in fright. 
Connager watched the humming PTV until 
it turned the next corner. Then he walked 
on, slowly. 

The stockroom manager, Ritala Mel- 
mann Danvist, looked up uneasily when 
he entered and then gave him a formida- 
ble frown. "What is it now?" 

' "Found the missing hypos?" Connager 
asked lightly. 

"Look. No one in this hospital has used a 
disposable hypo for years. I'm positive 
they were marked for destruction long 
before I took this lousy job. They just hap- 
pened to turn up missing on my first inven- 
tory, so I'm stuck." She eyed him worriedly 
and asked, "What's there to worry about?" 

Connager leaned over the counter. 
"Public Security thinks they vanished into 
the 'cotics trade. I disagree. Did you know 
that Pharmacy has lost track of a couple of 
liters of Tharmenol?" 

She stared at him. 

"Tharmenol is a powerful injectable bar- 
biturate," he went on. "Five cc's, even if 
injected in a muscle, would kill a healthy 
human." Connager turned away. In the 
doorway he paused to look back. She was 
regarding him with an entirely different 
kind of worry. "Those missing hypos had 
five-cc syringes," hesaid. 

He walked on toward Pharmacy, where 
a frenzied inventory was under way with 
an outside accountant on hand to tabulate 
prescriptions. Before he reached it, his 
jacket pocket beeped twice. He took the 
com disc from his pocket, activated it, 
and said wearily, "Hospital Security. 

"You sound tired," the mellifluous voice 

"Dead," Connager agreed absently. 

The voice laughed warmly, "This is the 
wrong place to say that. Were you up all 

"I've been up the past two nights." 

The voice laughed again. "The director 
has agreed to meet with a committee of 
pickets. He'd like to have you present," 

"Tell Doctor Alfnol I'll make the arrange- 
ments for this meeting myself. We don't 
want one of those youngsters smuggling a 
bomb into the hospital." 

He switched the disc to another chan- 
nel. "Connager, Emotional Therapy report, 

A different voice announced crisply, 
"Traffic heavy, flow continuous, occu- 
pancy close to capacity but no problems." 

Connager pocketed the disc and 
headed for his Security Section, won- 
dering about that warm and vivacious and 
carefree voice that spoke to him several 
times a day from the director's office. He 
had never met the owner, but he sus- 
pected that she was a sour-looking, 

homely old shrew. Things usually worked 
out that way. 

Purr . . . click , . . swish. Connager 
stepped aside and watched another 
frightened patient recede into the 

Connager met the committee of pickets 
at the front gate. The lines were moving 
more slowly than they had that morning, 
and all of the pickets looked tireder and 
hungrier and dirtier. Some of their signs — 
Death with Dignity . . . We Demand the 
Right to Die in Privacy , . . Hospitals, not 
Circuses . . . Natural Death Is an Affront to 
Humanity — were torn and drooping. 

Like the other pickets, the members of 
the committee were young — all of them 
under 20 — and they looked unwashed 
and untidy. Connager asked for their iden- 
tity tags and gravely copied their names 
into his notebook: Lynar Dab-375, a tall, 
gangly youth still afflicted with adolescent 
acne; Jolan Silt-264, a husky youngster 
whose bulging contacts hinted at a life- 

^Severa! of the doctors 

were looking at him angrily — 

which was, Connager 

reflected, another healthy 

emotional reaction. 

He said again, "The threat 

to this hospital's patients 

is an internal one.^ 

time of vision disability; Stel Mur-973, a 
slender girl with a boyish figure, tousled 
hair, and a smudged face, but with far 
more poise of manner than the males. The 
girl and Jolan were wearing stretch suits, 
which two or three years before had been 
the adolescent fad in nonclothing. Proba- 
bly they hadn't been able to afford new 
wardrobes since their education allow- 
ances had terminated. Lynar was clad in 
the dusky garb of manual employment. 
He, at least, had worked at something, or 
affected to. 

The hospital's director, Marnsdorf 
Hardley Alfnol, was waiting for them in 
Connager's own office. He arose when 
they entered and regarded the youths 
distastefully, as though such obviously 
diseased specimens were unsafe in any 
hospital department except the morgue. 
Connager performed introductions and 
got everyone seated. 

The director leaned across Connager's 
desk and cleared his throat ostentatiously. 
"You are — ah — the committee, What can I 
do for you?" 

He was a paunchy, intensely serious 
individual — a distinguished physician, 

an excellent administrator, and an out- 
standing citizen — but he belonged to the 
wrong generation and the wrong world. 
The boys regarded him belligerently. The 
girl, whose steady gaze had been fixed 
upon him from the moment they entered 
the room, leaned forward and spoke, 

"You can. let your patients die in peace 
and comfort and dignity." 

Alfnol cleared his throat again. "My dear 
young people. In this institution, death is 
not our profession. We are dedicated to 
life— to healing, to repairing accident- 
damaged bodies, to correcting genetic 
errors, to curing the diseased, to keeping 
people alive and enabling them to live 
happy and useful lives. Fewer than five 
percent of those admitted to this institution 
die. Our handling of those few is pre- 
scribed by law. The moment a patient be- 
comes terminal, our responsibility ends, 
and we transfer him or her to the terminal 
wards, as the law requires. You should be 
picketing the legislature." 

"We are," the girl said. "But of course the 
legislators say that they make laws in the 
area of medicine only. on the recommen- 
dation of doctors." She paused. "There 
once was a physician named Hippocra- 
tes. You may have heard of him. He said, 
'Wherever !he art of medicine is loved, 
there also is the love of humanity' If the art 
of medicine is loved in this hospital, as you 
claim, the love of humanity will force you to 
defy the law and its inhumane strictures on 
natural death." 

The director managed a hurt smile. "You - 
are asking those who devote their lives to 
the repair and cure of damaged and dis- 
eased bodies, you are asking them to 
prove that they love humanity?" 

"One who loves humanity loves all of hu- 
manity," the girl said bitterly. "The healthy, 
the sick — and the dying. Take me to the 
terminal wards and demonstrate your love 
of humanity by ending the suffering there." 

"However much we may sympathize 
with your objectives, we must obey the 
law," Alfnol said. 

The conversation continued, but the 
looming shadow of the law lay heavily 
across every question. Finally, without a 
trace of amenities, the young people got 
to their feet and marched out. Connager 
left with them and walked them past the 
various guard posts to the main gate. The 
guards there opened the gate for them, 
and as the other pickets surged forward to 
ask what had happened inside, Connager 
spoke curtly to the committee. 

"I'd like to show you something." He 
turned and walked away, following the 
parkway outside the hospital's fence. The 
committee trailed after him. He could have 
avoided the long walk by cutting through 
the hospital from his office, but revealing 
the staff communication system to these 
unwashed youngsters would have left him 
open to scathing criticism. Connager had 
to go out of his way to avoid criticism. The 
director of anything made enemies, and a 
new director of hospital security made 




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The computer revolution 

has begun, so get your data ready. 

There's no turning back. 


Suppose you meia man who tiian't Know what an automobile was You'd think he was a cluck, a sim- 
pleton, someone unable 10 hold a sensible opinion on anything in the modern world. And it's so 
simple— an automobile is a box you go places in. 

The majoriiy of well-educated Americans, however, are clucks and simpletons when it comes to 
something just as basic as the automobile: the computer. Jus! as the automobile is a box you go 
places in, the computer is a box that follows apian. The plan can be anything. It can tell the box lo turn 


things on and off, to file and bring back in- 
formation automatically, to blink lights, to 
mix drinks, to play music — anything at all. 
So I've given you the word. You now 
know what a computer is. 

They should never have been called 

The first machines were labeled com- 
puters because their developers felt that 
numerical computations would be their 
main function. It reminds one of the blind 
men in the fable, who when confronted 
with an elephant thought il was a wall, a 
tree, or a snake, depending on what parts 
of the animal their hands touched. 

The pioneers were not wrong, just pre- 
occupied. But the result has been that the 
name computer has frightened people 
ever since. It might just as well have been 
called the Oogabooga Box. That way at 
least we could get the fear out in the open 
and laugh at it. 

In France they call all aspects of com- 
puter use I'informatique , the automatic 
handling of information. From time to time 
computer fans have advocated translat- 
ing the French term and calling the use of 
computers informatics, an extremely ap- 
propriate term; Unfortunately, "infor- 
matics" happens to be the trademark of In- 
formatics, Inc. here in the United States, 
so that pretty much squashes that. 

In Sweden they call computers "dators." 
A computer — or a terminal between you 
and the computer— is a dator, meaning 
something that handles data. Straightfor- 
ward, huh? 

The celebrated scientist John Von 
Neumann got it right at the very beginning, 
but nobody listened. He called it "the all- 
purpose machine," 

But computer is what we call it, even 
when it is playing music or making pic- 
tures on a screen. 

Keeps people scared. Oogabooga! 

Any nitwit can understand computers. 

Many do. 

Many people, particularly those who 
call themselves "humanists," often claim 
that computers are oppressive, cold, im- 
personal, rigid, dictatorial, militaristic — 
the list is endless. "They're controlling our 
lives! " I hear. "They're taking over the 
world! "This is a widespread view, held fa- 
natically by a large number of people, and 
it is not altogether wrong. 

Computers have been used in many 
sysiems that push people around. They 
are frequently instruments of oppression. 
The Nazis, however, used railroad cars 
and ovens in oppressive ways, but this 
does not mean that railroad cars and 
ovens are in themselves oppressive. 
Computers, in fact, have provided a 
handy excuse for oppression: "Sorry 
about this, but the computer made me do 

Consider this: Suppose someone cre- 
ates a system for handling warranty re- 
pairs. You go into the store where you 
bought your nice new radio that doesn't 
work. You have the sales slip and your reg- 
istration card stub. 

"Filt this out," the clerk says. He hands 
you a form that asks for your name, age. 
sex, address, occupation, height, weight, 
identifying marks, where you purchased 
the appliance, where you first heard of the 
appliance, a description of your problem, 
and your signature. 

You demand to know why you have to 
answer so many questions. 

"Fill it out, or you don't get your radio 
fixed," responds the clerk. "Gotta have all 
that for the computer." 

You fill out the form. It takes 20 minutes. 
The ballpoint pen smears ink all over your 

"This is no good," says the clerk. "Ma- 
chine can't read the carbon copy." 

Quivering with rage, you fill out another 
form, which the clerk accepts. You get a 
portion of it back that bears the first three 
letters of your name, several digits, and 
some hyphens. You hand over your radio. 

"When will it be ready?" you ask. 

"Six weeks, maybe seven," he answers. 
"Computer has to match it up with your 
warranty card in California." 

"Never mind, just give it back," you say. 

The clerk hands you your radio and con- 
fiscates the stub. 

"Damn these computers," you shout 
and stomp out the door. For days you com- 
plain to everyone about "those damned 
computers never work." 

But you are wrong. The system worked 
perfectly. They did not have to repair your 

And you blamed the computer. 

Suppose you were taken on a tour of a 
library, but you did not know how to read. 
You would see people moving books 
around, turning pages. You would think 
they were all doing the same thing. You 
would not see the romance and adven- 
ture, the science and history, moving 
across their minds. 

Similarly, people working with com- 
puters all seem to be doing the same 
things — typing odd messages into the 
machine and scratching their heads at the 
results, staring at walls, scribbling strange 
symbols on blackboards, sometimes mut- 
tering out loud and walking into things. 

But each one is doing something differ- 
ent. One may be studying the life and 
death of sfars and galaxies, another ar- 
ranging a dating service. One may be rob- 
bing a bank. 

To understand the language of automo- 
biles is basic. "A guy in a pickup tailgated 
me off the interstate." Everybody under- 
stands that. 

To understand the language of books is 

basic. "The librarian told me the book was 
out for rebinding." Everybody under- 
stands that. 

But how about this one: "The program 
got hung in a loop and I tried to do a re- 
start, but the system bombed." 

A few years from now, that language 
and the world it describes will be as famil- 
iar to us as the librarian and the tailgater 
are. Today, however, anyone who under- 
stands that mysterious sentence is called 
a "computer person." 

"You'll have to talk to my nephew; he 
uses computers." I gnash my teeth at that 
statement. Just because I use wheels, 
must I talk to the niece who rollerskates or 
to the uncle who teaches driving? Luckily, 
in a few years there will not be any com- 
puter people. That is, people won't be set 
apart as computer people, any more than 
skateboarders and truckers and com- 
muters are set apart as "wheel people." 

This is the magic time. It is like the Klon- 
dike, like the old Hollywood, like the birth 
of air travel and radio and television. It is 
the new computer world. It is going to ex- 

Today real computers can be pur- 
chased for as little as $600 (the TRS-80 
from Radio Shack, for example), and 
some of these small machines are more 
powerful than the IBM 1401 , the computer 
that ran American business only 1 5 years 
ago (and cost upwards of $50,000), 
Though only half a dozen brands are avail- 
able at this writing, new electronics com- 
panies are tumbling into the personal 
computer field willy-nifly. 

In my recent book. The Home Computer 
Revolution (available for £2.00 plus post- 
age from: The Distributors. 702 So. Michi- 
gan, South Bend, IN 4661 8; softcover, 224 
pages). I predicted that ten million small 
computers would be sold by the end of 
1979. That prediction will probably not 
come true for there is not now the produc- 
tion capacity. But I think it will be closer to 
ten million than to one million. 

The history of electronics since World 
War II can be described in two words — 
smaller and cheaper. The vacuum tubes 
that made the first hi-fi sets hum in the 
early 1950s were the size of a pinecone. 
The transistors that replaced them were 
first the size of a thimble, then as liny as a 

Not only were transistors small — they 
could be grown, like little mushrooms, and 
sculpted and arranged in patterns while 
they were growing. This led to the "inte- 
grated circuit," a little cluster of transistors 
and other things electronic all grown to- 

The "OM" circuit is an experimental micropro- 
cessor, measuring a mere one centimeter on 
each side, that has the capacity to store greater 
logic and memory lunctions than any pre- 
viously designed chip. 

gether in their intended combination. The 
size of a postage stamp, the integrated 
circuit could be designed for any elec- 
tronic purpose — as an amplifier for a hi-fi, 
a circuit for controlling radar sweeps, or 
the buiiding block of a computer. 

By 1965 it became clear that the work- 
ings of an entire computer could be put on 
a single integrated circuit. Did people 
plan ahead? Did the computer industry 
prepare for drastic change as the price of 
computers fell from thousands to hun- 
dreds of dollars? Did any big companies 
get ready for. this change? 
. You bet they didn't. 

The breakthrough came in 1971, when 
an integrated circuit company.lntel Corpo- 
ration, brought out the first "computer gn a 
chip," the model 4004. This was not a full 
computer, with blinking lights and mem- 
ory, but it was the vital part— -the circuitry 
capable of following a program stored in 
whatever memory that was attached to it. 

Intel alsooffered.to go with the 4004, 
components that would provide memory, 
outside hookup, and so on. All you had to 
do was buy the various parts and know ex- 
actly what you were doing. 

Then came the Altair. Out of the blue, in 
December of 1974, there came an elec- 
trifying announcement from Albuquerque, 
New Mexico. A tiny company called MITS 
was offering a computer kit — for $420. 

Two hundred orders for the Altair would 
allow MITS. faltering, nearly broke, to 
break even. Those 200 orders came the 
day the kit came out. Quickly there were 
thousands of orders, then pandemonium. 
This tiny firm had discovered by dumb 
luck what a few prophets had claimed but 
what nobody believed: people want com- 

By June of 1974there were several 
companies making Altair accessories. 
There was.. also a slick magazine for com- 
puter hobtiyists called Byte and a store in 
Los Angeles where you could walk in and 
buy a computer. By December there were 
more than a dozen companies making Al- 
tair add-on products. By the following 
summer the Los Angeles computer hobby 
club had 3000 members. 
. Today-there are perhaps 50 brands of 
personal computers on the market, most 
of them kits but some, like the Apple II and 
Radio Shack's TRS-80, fully constructed 
and ready to run. The revolution has be- 
gun. Computer Lib has become a fact. 

Virtually every city in the country now 
has its own band of computer hobbyists. 
The weekly meeting of personal computer 
enthusiasts in such cities as Boston, Los 
Angeles, and San Francisco may draw 
more than 1 000 members. Curiously, 
Women's Lib has not joined up with Com- 
puter Lib. Membership in personal com- 
puter organizations is almost exclusively 
male. Women are not only welcome but 
encouraged to join, for most male com- 
puter hobbyists are dying to meet a 
woman who can talk about computers. 

Women should beware, however, for many 
computer hobbyists cannot talk about 
anything else. "What else is there?" is the 
common response-. 

Anyone can learn to program a com- 
puter. It is simply a matter of getting ac- 
cess to a computer and learning one of the 
languages that will direct it. You don't have 
to know mathematics or electronics any 
more than you have to know the fox-trot. 

The magic age, however, seems to be 
14. (The average age of people in 
noncredit computer courses, for example, 
is 14.) Today, of course, there is a simple 
way for a youngster to get involved with 
computers, probably the best way ot all. 
His father can buy him one. 

A curious strategy pervades the 
computer world from top to bottom. It is 
employed by the grandest bureaucrats 
and the most modest individuals. It is 

known as lock-in. 

£ Today computers can 
be purchased for as little as 
$600, and some of these 
small machines are more power- 
ful than the IBM 1401 , 
the computer that ran American 
business only 15 years ago. 9 

Lock-in simply means keeping 
someone a prisoner of your products and 
services. It has been around for years — 
ever since Samuel Colt invented the gun 
you had to buy refills for. Anything that 
requires refills made by the manufacturer 
locks you in — razor, camera. 

Computers and their hardware are 
different from manufacturer to 
manufacturer. This assures that after 
programs are written and corrected until 
they work perfectly, you can't change 
computers. Although IBM isthe most 
notorious user of this strategy, all 
computer manufacturers practice lock-in 
whenever they can. 

But lock-in is not limited to the 
manufacturer of computers. It also is 
practiced by the so-called "computer 
center," the department within a company, 
university,or government where the big 
computers live. Initially designed to 
provide centralized, etficient computer 
service, the computer center has evolved 
Into an internal tyranny, set up to operate 
at its own convenience and dedicated 
(like any organizational entity) to its own 
-self-preservation. The computer center, of 

course, always wants a better (read 
bigger) computer over which it has 
exclusive control. 

Today, thanks to small computers that 
are cheap enough to bypass the 
"computer selection committee," the 
internal monopoly of the computer center 
is coming apart at the seams. According 
to Portia Isaacson, part owner of 
Houston's Micro Store, little computers 
have already penetrated large companies 
without the knowledge of the computer 
centers. The Trojan horse is already inside 
the gates. "I'll sell you a computer under 
any name you like," says Isaccson. "You'd 
be surprised at all the different things we 
call them on the sales slips." 

Lock-in also isa strategy employed by 
individuals — programmers and 

technicians, primarily. If you are the only 
one who understands the computer 
system you've created, you can't be fired. 
All you have to do is look more and more 
harried each day, keep longer and longer 
hours, and demand raise after raise. Said 
one programmer: "I always tell them that if 
it can't be -done in COBOL (the standard 
business-programming language) it can't 
be done by computer. It saves me an awful 
lot qi trouble." The case was well made by 
Robert Townsend in his best-selling book, 
Up the Organization. "Most of the 
computer technicians you're likely to meet 
or hire are complicators, not simplifiers," 
he said. "They're trying to make it look 
tough, not easy." 

This is a critical time for the home or 
personal computer. In the very near future 
virtually every device or appliance costing 
over $50 will contain computer ch/ps.but it 
is unlikely that we will be able to treat them 
as computers, Each device will be 
programmed to behave in a specific way 
when you touch its buttons, but there will 
be no tie-in. (Sometimes this situation is 
called "distributed intelligence.") For 
example, the automatic "trip computer," 
already available in Cadillac, has its own 
fixed repertory of behaviors as does this 
portable telephone-memorizer (now 
available for about $70) and the box you 
can preload with your appointments (at 
several hundred dollars). None of them 
Can be together. Each one locks you in. 

This is not Computer Liberation. It is just 
crowding us with more gadgets. 

Only if the personal computer can 
perform a unifying function, only if it can 
both keep records and orchestrate our 
accessories, can we derive full benefit. If 
all we get is a lot of separate gizmos the 
computer revolution will fail. 

Unification is not easy. It requires deep . 
and thoughtful design. Unfortunately, so 
long as people buy cameras they can't 
understand and hi-fi sets with rows of 
identical knobs and switches that cannot 
be distinguished by touch, there will'be ■ 
little improvement. The computer 
manufacturers will build what people will 
buy. It is up to you. DO 


Whether it's a volcano 

disaster in Hawaii or a 

"rogue wave" in the Atlantic, 

the Center will be there. 






1 t has been a busy 
week at the Center for Short-Lived Phe- 
nomena in. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 
Telephones ring in a ceaseless ca- 
cophony, bringing news from around the 
world of fast-breaking events on the envi- 
ronmental front. 
A caller alerts the center to a volcanic 

eruption in the Philippines, sparking a 
flurry of activity as staffers scramble to 
piece together the story. Meanwhili 
someone else is trying to uncover the mys- 
tery behind a major fish kill along ihi 
Brazil-Uruguay coastline. Simultaneously, 
background on an oil spill off the coast of 
Brittany, a starfish infestation off American 
Samoa, and a whale stranding in New 
foundland are brought up to date. 

A phenomenon in its own right, the Cen- 
ter for Short-Lived Phenomena (CSLP) is 
more than just a global news service cov- 
ering the environmental beat. Its continu- 
ing analysis of a rainbow-range of both 
man-made and natural events provides 
scientists with the stuff to understand 
shifting forces and larger patterns in na- 
ture. Since its founding ten years ago by 
the Smithsonian Institution, the center has 
compiled dossiers on over 2500 natural 
events, aberrations, and man-made acci- 

Raining fish in Australia, a meteorite fall 
in Louisville, the eruption of a submarine 
volcano off the coast of Japan, a tanker 
disappearing off Nova Scotia, strange 
sonic booms along the East Coast, a fire- 
ball in the Rocky Mountains, discovery of a 
new species of shark in Hawaii, a danger- 
ous leak in an Italian chemical plant- 
these events and others are dutifully moni' 
tored, recorded, and stored by a cracl 
team of "aggressive" environmental re- 
porters. Large sectors of the globe 
hooked into this information resource. Bui 
the center is evolving a wider base. It is 
promoting a new-age awareness of man's 
close and life-sustaining relationship with 

"The center has become more than jus! 
an information clearinghouse for industry 
and government," declares CSLP direc- 
tor Richard-Golob. "Today, many people — 
in this country and around the world — rely 
on it tor an understanding of the pulse of the 

Already, the center has in a modest way 
moved into the streets. Above a kiosk in 
Harvard Square, an electronic message 
display spills out news from around the 
world. A first step, it is part of a much 
larger mission taking shape at the center: 
a campaign to raise people's environmen- 
tal consciousness. 

A few blocks from Harvard Square, the 
center is headquartered on the second 
floor of a renovafed while frame house. A 
warren of rooms contain bulletin boards 
filled with center news, filing cabinets, a 
few pieces of office furniture, maps, and 
telephones. The staff is young and hard- 
working, mainly recruits from the Boston 
academic community. Only five staff mem- 
bers operate the center, but a far-flung 
network of some 2000 correspondents — 
government officers, scientists, 
journalists— are its eyes and ears around 
the world. When one of these informants 
phones in an event alert, the staff immedi- 
ately places calls to confirm and flesh it 
out. Once verified, the report is edited and 
then reproduced for airmail delivery to 
subscribers around the world, Initial notifi- 
cations are then followed up with reports 
tracing the event's life history. 

A typical correspondent was the army 
man stationed at the North American Ra- 
dar Air Defense (NORAD) base in Cold 
Bay, Alaska, who kept the center informed 
on a local volcano — when he was not 
monitoring radar screens, This amateur 
volcano watcher organized an entire net- 
work of reporters in the Aleutians. Be- 
cause of ifs credentials, the center hasac- 
cess to scientists who are more willing to 
give it information, rather than pass it on to 
the media. 

Over 1500 subscribers pay to be part of 
this hotline. The subscriber list reaches 
from major media, like the Los Angeles 
Times and the Associated Press, to aca- 
demic and research outposts, as well as 
into the Fortune 50D reaches of big busi- 

(Preceding pages). Kilaueau volcano in Hawaii violently blows ashes sky-high in I 964 erup- 
tion witnessed by Center correspondent. Top left: Center is still mystified by 1969 deatns of 
thousands of shearwaters, a long-winged sea bird, off the North Carolina coast. Top center: 
Center Issues immediate reports on major oil spills . such as this one that ravaged France's 
Brittany coast. Above: Hurricane Belle threw this 13,5-meter (44-foot) ketch clear out ot the 
water and through a stone wall in its 1976 rampage through Norwalk, Connecticut. Center is 
interested in any severe storm erosion. Lett: Wrecked car rests amid debris from Los Angeles 
earthquake. Center catalogues all quakes over 7.0 magnitude. Top right: Hurricane Cleo. 

ness. Corporate giants, like DuPont, Tex- 
aco, Exxon, subscribe to the news reports 
because of the up-to-date reporting of oil 
spills, chemical leaks, and other industrial 
accidents. Major oil companies make 
large corporate contributions to the CSLP 
to ensure immediate and comprehensive 
reporting of pollution incidents. 

Scientists havetapped this resource in a 
variety of ways. Data compiled by the cen- 
ter, for instance, have helped scientists de- 
velop belter, more accurate predictive 
models of volcano activity. Emergency re- 
lief organizations use CSLP resources to 
upgrade planning so they can better han- 
dle the effects of natural disasters on popu- 
lation centers. Major companies incorpo- 
rate CSLP reports to strengthen oil spill re- 
sponse plans. Mobil Oil isnow working with 
the center to evaluate the effectiveness ot 
dispersants. chemicals that break up oil 
slicks. The center has also collaborated 
with the United Nations Environment Pro- 
gramme in compiling a directory of world- 
wide pollution monitoring programs. 

Because of iheCSLP's digging and jour- 
nalistic footwork, a simple phenomenon 
may be shown to have much greater signif- 
icance than a first glance would indicate. 
What seems like an isolated event is con- 
nected to a much larger ecological chain of 
life. A typical example occurred in ihefall of 
1 976, when five million squid came ashore' 
on the beaches of Cape Cod. Natives and 
scientists were baffled by the event, and 
the local media treated it as something of a 
joke. But the center did some snooping, 
and what they found was far from comical. 
The extraordinary influx, they warned, 
could very well be related to declining pop- 
ulations of cod and haddock, which prey 
on the squid. In turn, they suggested that 
the high body count washed ashore might 
be traceable to chemical pollutants or to a 
rapid temperature decline in the water, 

Similarly, when sonic booms myste- 
riously began resounding along the East 

-1 \ 





i ,* a '.v v ■ ■ /--~v ^. «^ x --7, 

t -/£&***■ . r ^' ."Ml -*V W -> S 

^»^ v 

J 1 ^ 

Coast last year, CSLP was called in on the 
case. During this period, the center be- 
came mission control for boom reports: a 
central switchboard tying together various 
regional reports. Working with govern- 
ment groups such as the U.S. Naval Re- 
search Laboratory and the Congressional 
Research Service, staffers rolled up their 
sleeves and dug in. Center director Ri- 
chard Golob recalls the investigation; his 
account neatly illustrates how CSLP re- 
search methods payoff. 

"We checked our files and talked with 
CSLP correspondents," Golob recalls, 
"only to discover that similar sonic boom 
phenomena had occurred in England the 
year before. These previous sonic booms 
had been tied to the arrival and departure 
of the SST at airports near London and 
Paris. Apparently, sound waves propagat- 
ed by the SSTs had, due to unusual envi- 
ronmental conditions, bounced back and 
forth in the atmosphere — as if reflected in 
a series of mirrors. This effect increased 
the range of the booms from 10 to 20 miles 
to more than 100 miles." 

The center, he continued, did some 
more digging only to find that these UAOs 
(Unidentified Audible Objects) had been 
occurring in Nova Scotia at roughly the 
same time as the booms reported off the 
East Coast. Speculation proliferated. 
Some people explained the booms as 
methane gas emissions, earthquake pre- 
cursors, and even close encounters. But 
the center linked these episodes up to the 
earlier European boom reports, theorizing 
that unusual environmental conditions 
were again the precipitating agent. 

"We felt that given their regularity during 
weekdays and only during certain times of 
each day, the booms were connected to 
man-made activities," Golob explains. 
"The boorhs were undoubtedly linked to 
SSTs or military planes breaking the 
sound barrier during a period of tempera- 
ture inversion." 

Top left: Elephant seal sounds his mating/battle cry as he prepares to light ail comers for sex- 
ual rights to sea! cows off California coast. Males often maim, even kill, each other in this 
sexual/social ritual. The Center is on the lookout for any event that could disturb animal mat- 
ing habits. Top center: Center correspondents are also on constant alert for rare or sudden 
bird migrations or other animal movements. Above: Center reporters are concerned with this 
lone survivor of a previously populous wolf pack. The Center keeps an eye on all endangered 
species lacing imminent extinction ; bighorn ewes /right) and the grizzly bear (top right). 

Their biggest coup came at the end of 
1 976 with an exclusive on the ill-fated his- 
tory of the Argo Merchant. Within hours of 
her grounding off Nantucket, the center 
revealed that the ship had a legacy of di- 
saster, involving some 18 previous acci- 
dents, including two previous groundings 
and other mishaps. A source in the tanker 
industry gave the center the exclusive, a 
scoop that was immediately picked up by 
papers across the country. 

The Argo Merchant episode dra- 
matized to the American people the dan- 
ger of oil spills. But to Golob, it also em- 
phasized how limited — fixed in a regional 
viewpoint — is our awareness of the prob- 
lem. "All around the world, there are oil 
spills," he declares, "but it takes some- 
thing in our backyard to alert us to the dan- 
ger." He mentioned a disaster involving 
the Urguiola, a tanker that grounded in a 
Spanish harbor a few months before the 
Argo Merchant. "The Urguiola dumped 
close to 1 00 thousand tons of oil," he 
noted, "but only a handful of people in this 
country were aware of the disaster." 

The birth of a volcanic island near Ice- 
land in 1 963 precipitated the center's cre- 
ation. The new island, Surtsey. proved a 
major scientific event, with volcanologists 
arriving on the scene from all over the 
world. Out of its creaiion emerged data 
and photographs providing valuable 
clues to the emergence of life on earth. 
The event also dramatized the need for 
some central agency that could function 
as both early-warning system and monitor 
for similar occurrences. 

At that point, scientists had no central 
communications system. Too often, they 
learned about a significant natural event 
months later through scientific journals or 
secondhand accounts from untrained ob- 

ena was created on a shoestring budget 

by the Smithsonian Institution, with a staff 
of two people. At that time, its mandate 
was to cover only natural events. During 
the next few years, the center built up fts 
circuit of correspondents and developed 
a scientific influence far out of proportion 
to its size. 

in 1975, the center set out on its own, 
breaking away from the Smithsonian and 
its economic subsidy. The center's focus 
was changing. They were incorporating 
man-made events — such as chemical 
leaks and oil spills — into their field of 
study. Its constituency was also beginning 
to grow, moving beyond the sectarian 
boundaries of the scientific world and into 
business and the general public. "The 
split was amicable," says Golob. "It was 
simply that we had outgrown our original 
role and were moving onto other things." 

Today, the center is diversifying and 
learning how to imaginatively market its 
services. It is looking around for ways to 
reach a larger audience — as well as pay 
its bills. Says Golob, it takes some 
$150,000-5200,000 per year to run the 
center. Money-making ideas are prolif- 
erating, as are ways to expand the center 
into a multimedia resource. For example, 
the center, in collaboration with a Boston 
publishing company, has begun to pub- 
lish the "Oil Spill Intelligence Report," a 
weekly newsletter that will provide sub-' 
scribers with thorough International cov- 
erage of oil spills as weli as updates on 
cleanup technology, legislation, research 
conferences, and publications. Golob is 
also discussing the possibility of docu- 
mentary films with tv and movie producers 
and is roughing out a possible book, 
which would be a compendium of odd and 
significant environmental events. 

Beyond these merchandising projects, 
Golob has a far-reaching vision of the 
center's future. The 27-year-old director is 
the center's entrepreneurial motor as well 
as its chief tactician. Boyish, self- 


He used to search for 
his own kind, but af- 
ter the great massa- 
cre in his fifteenth 
season, he. hadn't had but a 
fleeting contact with others — 
a warble, a rumble, and a 
squeal that had come to him 
after endless traveling 
through the message- 
carrying waters. Loneliness. 
That was all any of the others 
spoke of. 

He bellowed his foghorn 
bellow, feeling the water 
around him tremble with his 
giant voice. He rose, the 
spray of infinite bubbles tick- 
ling against his skin, exhaling 
with a vaporous gush of relief, 
sucking in precious air. For a 
moment, suspended above 
the sea, no longer rising but 
not yet falling, he squinted in 
the yellowness of the outer 
world, feeling the warmth of 
dry air on his massive head. 


Hunting whales 
was their way of life — 
and path to death. 


Above, a pale-blue flalness struck against 
the rich blue-green of his world. 

Below again, sailing downward, pulling 
the division between the pale and the rich 
in a confused whirl behind him, he cried 
out in a squeal that ended with a honk. 

Maybe someday, someone would hear if 
he called. 

Dr. Marsha Scott leaned into the 
viewscreen as if pressing close would 
undo the separation between herself and 
the sea. Inside — a man-refuge of metal 
and plastic and nylon with gauges, dials, 
switches, lights, and papers clipped to the 
walls with strong magnets. Outside — a 
blue mystery that faded into an opaque 
■ universe where odd creatures darted, 
crept, or floated sleepily. 

"Where are you, pretty one?" she called 
through the viewscreen, searching for a 
great whale-shape in the foggy water. 
"Come on, come on, we heard you. Don't 
be shy." Encapsulated in the submarine, 
her soft human voice was of little use. 

The cabin of the mini-sub was filled with 
squeals and twitters, sometimes mournful 
sounds, sometimes comical. The alien 
metal bubble of the sub was endowed with 
eeriness from ascending and descending 
scales — ocean concertos accompanied 
by the microphone's brooklike interpreta- 
tion of the water rushing around the sub. 

Barbara rose from the pilot's console to 
sland by Marsha and peer into the screen. 
"I think I see her. Look there." Barbara's 
keen pilot's eyes were seldom wrong; 
something Marsha had learned to appre- 
ciate in her. Just as Marsha trusted Bar- 
bara underwater, Barbara seemed to 
defer in the lab. A well-suited pair of 
researchers needed that kind of trust. Bar- 
bara pointed to a vague, distant move- 
ment in the upper right corner of the 
screen. They both watched, wondering 
whether it was only a cloud-shadow 
changing the color of the water or a thick 
school of fish or plankton . . . or the solo fe- 
male whale they had traced, earlier in the 
day, following the trail of irresistible scent 
they had put out just for her. 

The whale made a sound equivalent to a 
human flapping his lips obscenely. 

The two women laughed; though they 
had heard the same thing endless times, 
Marsha felt an uncomfortable, guilty hap- 
piness. Sometimes she felt as though she 
should be sad every moment of her life, 
considering what was happening to her 
whales. But she couldn'l help but feel glo- 
rious joy when she was this close. 

"Definitely," Barbara said coolly. 

They smiled at one another, then Bar- 
bara returned to the console. Marsha wat- 
ched over her shoulder to see the course 
change. Barbara punched in an 
18-degree starboard turn. Marsha looked 
to her left, checking the tank gauge for the 
whale "perfume," as they called their solu- 
tion of pheromones, though to the whales 
themselves it was more a matter of taste 
than scent. The tank was still three- 

72 OMNI 

quarters full, though they'd traveled far 
from the coast leaking a fragrant trail. 

Marsha felt the change in course even 
before she looked back at the viewscreen. 
She waited to ask, knowing that it would 
take a distance to be able to discern 
whether the whale had changed course 
with the sub. 

"Sonar?" she finally asked. 

"We're being followed," Barbara said. 

Marsha knew, even halfway through her 
talk, that the lecture rebounded off the Es- 
kimos' emotions. They watched the film of 
the Japanese whaler-factory ship, not 
comprehending the significance of mas- 
sive killing. The tape of whale songs didn't 
bring even the expected vague smiles of 
amusement. Mostly men in flannel shirts 
and jeans, smoking cigarettes until a blue 
haze lay in layers from the basketball 
hoops to over their shoulders and round, 
brown faces like a gauzy blanket; they sat 

<mThe cabin of the 

mini-sub was fiiled with 

squeals and twitters, 

sometimes mournful sounds, 

sometimes comical . . . 

ocean concertos accompanied 

by the . . . water rushing 

around the sub. 9 

on metal folding chairs in the modern 
gymnasium of the village school. 

Only two people seemed to show any 
signs of listening, an old man and a young 
man. The old one moved restlessly in his 
folding chair, looked around at other, im- 
passive faces. He seemed horrified by 
what she said. When she explained that 
there had been no recent sighting of an 
adult male bowhead, the old man whis- 
pered, "Gone! Gone!" to Marsha's distrac- 
tion. The younger man — awkward, silent, 
apart — took a pen and a small notebook 
out of his shirt pocket every now and then 
and wrote briefly. The rest sat with their 
arms crossed or hands on their knees and 
simply watched her with shuttered ex- 
pression, having found she would say ex- 
actly what they expected. Please, please 
don't kill any whales this year. 

They had heard it before. For years. 
Marsha knew about the Eskimo— she 
knew that the whale and the Eskimo had 
lived a'life together for thousands of years; 
she knew the customs and even a few 

"Understand," she said, sweating and 
too warm for the first time in three days, 

"we are not asking this because we are 
anti-Eskimo. There will be no whales ever, 
ever again if you kill them. The rest of the 
world has finally stopped. If you will leave 
them alone, they have a slight chance. At 
my University, we've been working with a 
chemical to draw all the whales together at 
mating season. It's called a pheromone — 
a hormone like the ones the whales them- 
selves make — that attracts the whales 
who have gotten separated from schools." 

Marsha longed for a glass of water, but 
no one seemed to notice her hoarseness. 
She explained carefully about phero- 
mones, that most animals seemed to have 
these, but they were hard to make in the 
laboratory. Appreciate the work I've donel 
she wanted to shout. Understand how im- 
portant you are and why! But she lectured 
on steadily, feeling like a beached whale, 
suffocating from their resistance like a 
whale suffocates under its own weight 
when out of its cool, blue world. 

"Clever!" the restless old man muttered, 
watching her with bright eyes. 

Hope. She found herself speaking to 
him and the note-taking young man, not 
even seeing the sleepy looks that now 
graced those other faces. 

She finished. "Thank you." And they 
said nothing. Watched her until she col- 
lected her notes and put them into her 
folder. Fingers and lips trembling, head 
pounding, she crossed the gymnasium 
through the rows of folding chairs, across 
the slick varnished floor, into the dimly lit 
corridor, looking for the drinking fountain. > 
Behind her, she heard the villagers sud- 
denly come to life. Gulping cold water, she 
heard the sound of argument. She stood in 
the doorway and saw the old man getting 
up from his folding chair, glaring at the 
man who reached out to his arm as if to 
convince him to stay. 

"George!" one of the other villagers 
said, wagging his finger at the old man. 
"Who killed those whales?" 

"Leave me alone, dammit!" restless old 
George said. "Even if they did the 
slaughtering, they've left us the worst! The 
worst! " 

Marsha watched them bicker for a few 
moments, talking about centuries of Es- 
kimo life, how the Eskimo look at the world 
now— bullied by biologists and ecolo- 
gists, plagued by those bug-eyed, beak- 
faced people from the south. She telt a 
hand on her shoulder and saw Dr. Thiol's 
sympathetic eyes. 

"How are you?" he asked. 

"I ache, "she said. 

In the spring, he moved from the warm 
south to the cooler waters of the north; in 
the fall he moved southward again. He 
drifted naturally through his life, thinking 
about patterns he saw, music he heard, 
learning new things every season as he 
migrated from one place to another. He'd 
become fond of exploring deeper in the 
trenches, conditioning himself even be- 
yond his innate ability to stay under a long 


While, before surfacing for a breath. 

He felt the changes in the water sliding 
■around him as he dipped and glided. A 
trailing swirl blossomed into oily spirals, a 
cool taste of the north sifted through his 
sievelike baleen where the plankton Col- 
lected in his mouth for a continuous meal, 
the subtle changes in sounds reverberat- 
ed through the sea, all giving him. a feeling 
of purpose. 

Slowing down to enjoy a bright arrange- 
ment ot ocean flora — blooming in orange 
and pink and pale yellow ruffles, sur- 
rounded by softly waving green tendrils — 
he felt almost content. 

He sang. 

He was going home. 

When the phone rang, Marsha woke 
completely and not at all. She bolted out of 
bed without conscious thought, a reflexive 
response. It took her a few seconds to re- 
member ro speak. "Hello." 

"Marsh, they're going on the hunt any- 
way," Barbara said. 

She stood dumbly with the phone to her 
ear, bending over the lamp table, her 
thigh-length nightshirt not adequate pro- 
tection against the news that her world 
was about to be destroyed. 


"What?" she said breathlessly. 

"What 'are we going to do then? Maybe 
we could fly up there and talk." 

"I don't think so, Barb. I did talk." 

"What about taking [he sub?" 

Marsha had considered that already. 
"We'd never get that far, that fast. Besides, 
the school wouldn't let us take it on such 
short notice." Marsha finally sat down in 
the rocking chair. She liked talking aboul 
possibilities, even though she knew there 
were none. It was comforting. Somehow it 
gave her the illusion that there was still 
hope if they talked enough, 

"I'm coming over." Barbara said. 


She hung up and sat in the dark for a 
long while. Time, distance, time, distance. 
. . . How to make them less? Less dis- 
tance. Makes more time. But what. . . . 

She stood, rigid with excitement. Then 
she went to her desk and flipped .on the 
light. On the wall a detailed map of the Pa- 
cific stretched across more. than a meter 
of wall space. She traced the lines of vari- 
ous colored pencils, twisting her head this 
way and that to read the notations. Rub- 
bing her face sleepily, she sat down and 
punched in a series of numbers on her 
small calculator, When the doorbell rang, 
she was still staring up at the map. She got 
on a pair of jeans and trotted to the door- 
way. "Barbara," she began right away, "do 
you still know that fellow with the plane?" 

Barbara brightengd, aware of a less 
hopeless tone. "I'll renew my acquaint- 
ance tonight if need be." 

"Okay." She pulled Barbara by the el- 
bow to her map and pointed to spots along 
the Bering Sea and north of St. Lawrence 
Island. "We're going to drop some phero- 


of complete Wild Tirtey painting by Ken Davtes, 19 by 21' 

9S9-OM, Wall SI 5la.> 

Wild Turkey Lore: 

The Wild Turkey is an incredible 
bird, capable of out-running J 
a galloping horse in a short 

It is also the symbol of 
Wild Turkey Bourbon, 
an incredible whiskey 
widely recognized as the 
finest Bourbon produced 
in America. 





The most heralded birth in 2000 years, the 

first test tube baby may be 

a breakthrough more psychological than real. 


■ n a freezer somewhere in New. York City there's a 
lesl lube whose conlents may interest you. They interest me. And they certainly interest Columbia University 
and its affiliate. Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, because a jury told both of those estimable organizations last 
summer that the test lube was going to cost ihem fifty grand, Nol bad, considering nobody even knows for sure 
what's in that test tube. 

What's probably there is some semen from a middle-aged dentist and bits and pieces of the female reproduc- 
tive apparatus, including, perhaps, one or more eggs. What's possibly there is a human zygote — a fertilized egg 
that had begun to divide, almost through with the first day of its nine-month journey toward the delivery room. 
What's definitely there is Doris and John Del Zio's hope for a test tube baby as a resull of in vitro fertilization, 
down the drain or. rather, down the freezer. 

Unless you vacationed underneath the North Pole, you are aware that last July we were treated to the most 
heralded birth in 2000 years, that of Louise Brown, the first human being acknowledged to have been conceived 
in vitro (that is, in a laboratory dish). Louise was the culmination of many years of effort to overcome a particular 
k'nd of inte- :' ;. ■" -.vr-icr- :ner= s blccksoe o- the fa lop.ar :joes the oaS'Sags ii" a: mc '"■:>" . :;.:ccs a 1 ": e-gg ; -o~- 
the ovary to its final destination in the womb. If these tubes are blocked, sperm can't get to the egg to fertilize it. 
In vitro fertilization involves an attempt to bypass that blockage by operating on a woman to remove some eggs 
from her ovaries and fertilizing them (in a Petri dish, actually, not a test tube) with her husband's sperm, "ob- 
tained manually," as the doctors delicately put it. The resulting embryo is grown in the lab for a few days and then 


£ In vitro fertilization 
has spawned concern about birth 
defects, the denial of human 
rights, and even the 
possibility of wombs for rent. 9 

implanted, via the vagina and cervix, into 
the woman's uterus. From that point, the 
pregnancy proceeds in the usual way. 

Louise was born in Britain but it could 
have been an American first. It should 
have happened in New York, in the spring 
of 1974, or so say the Del Zios, who suc- 
cessfully sued the university, the hospital, 
and Raymond Vande Wiele, head of ob- 
stetrics and gynecology there, for bring- 
ing to a halt (by placing the test tube in the 
freezer) a similar attempt being made on 
their behalf by one of Columbia's re- 

In his defense. Vande Wiele listed sev- 
eral reasons for his action. One of them 
was that as a member of a special commit- 
tee set up by the federal government to 
examine the matter, he knew that there 
were a lot of unanswered questions about 
the moral and legal propriety of in vitro fer- 
tilization and that the government was 
holding off underwriting any of it (a deci- 
sion tantamount to an unofficial morato- 
rium), pending further public discussion, 

A lot of people, it appears, are worried 
about the test tube babies; the Archdio- 
cese of New York. Ann Landers, and the 
editorial board of The New York Times, as 
well as the right-to-lifers and proponents 
of zero population growth, feminists, anti- 
feminists, possibly even you. Do you fear 
test tube babies? Should you? Perhaps, 
but maybe not for the reasons they've told 
you. I list here several worries and a few 

Worry #1 : Test tube babies might have 
birth defects. This is a reasonable fear on 
the face of it. In vitro fertilization certainly 
sounds scary. Recovering eggs via sur- 
gery, fertilizing them outside the body, let- 
ting them grow and develop for a few days 
and then implanting them in a uterus — a 
lot of things could go wrong in all that fid- 
dling around. And in fact a lot of things 
probably do, which is why it took us so 
long to get to Louise Brown despite the 
fact that we've been doing all this with rab- 
bits since 1890. Louise herself seems, 
blessedly, to be alright, though it's too 
early to be absolutely sure. 

But lots of things go wrong, even in a 

The extraordinary photography of Lennart Nils- 
son highlights the unseen world of the growing 
fetus. At only lour months of age the rich com- 
plexity of the sophisticated system of blood 
supply can be seen extending through the arm 
(left) and into the face and brain {above). 

pregnancy achieved in the usual way. It is 
estimated that at [east 20 percent of con- 
ventional conceptions never make it to la- 
bor and about five percent of those that do 
suffer some kind of birth defect. So Nature 
is not altogether perfect either. Further- 
more, much of the animal work on in vitro 
fertilization is rather soothing on this point; 
animal embryos appear to be as- 
tonishingly resistant to damage during 
transfer, and the damaged ones don't sur- 
vive. On that score, we're not likely to differ 
much from mice. 

Worry #2: Test tube babies will suffer 
psychological damage because of all the 
publicity. In other words, out of the test 
tube, into the goldfish bowl. Remember 
the Dionne quintuplets? Poor Louise, it is 
too bad her parents couldn't resist the me- 
dia madness, but how many people can 
resist their only chance for limelight, glam- 
our, and money? Maybe, with the prece- 
dent of the Dionnes before them they will 
manage it all more sensibly. And maybe if 
she knows she was one of the most 
wanted babies in human history, that will 
compensate. Of course the publicity 
problem will apply almost exclusively to 
Louise; subsequent babies born of in vitro 
fertilization will be greeted first with a few 
polite handclaps, then with yawns, and 
then, alas, with an ear-piercing silence. 
We will all be paying attention to some dif- 
ferent nine-day wonder. 

Worry #3: Laboratory manipulation of a 
fertilized human egg denies to a human 
being its basic rights. This is a compli- 
cated worry with a number of sub-worries: 

a. It is experimentation on a human sub- 
ject, the zygote, without that subject's vol- 
untary informed consent. Since, of course, 
such consent can never be given, this 
work will always be unethical. 

b. Since a number of eggs are often ferti- 
lized but only one selected for implant, 
discarding the others isaformof abortion, 

c. Researchers who pursue in vitro fertil- 
ization because they are interested in very 
early human development and who have 
no plans to implant the results are, when 

they discard those results, indulging in the 
wanton destruction of human life. 

All of these worries rest on the belief that 
human life begins at the moment of con- 
ception. The abortion melee has shown us 
that there are those who believe this and 
those who don't. Such opinions are, for the 
moment at least, articles of faith rather 
than rationality. It does not, however, make 
much sense to adopt the policy of protec- 
tion of each fertilized egg in the laboratory 
when we have made the political decision 
that women should have the choice to 
abort or not for up to two-thirds of a con- 
ventional pregnancy. 

But even people who think women 
ought to have that freedom are sometimes 
troubled at the idea of the wholesale dis- 
patch of human embryos, no matter how 
laudable the purpose, because of what 
those embryos might have been. We 
might, therefore, want to set limits on the 
kind of things a researcher can do with the 
products of in vitro fertilization and also 
require that those products be treated 
with dignity and disposed of with decorum 
(as is the rule with cadavers in anatomy 
labs). Such steps will not, of course, sat- 
isfy the absolutists on either side, but no 
other compromise would either, so we 
might as well try to soothe those many of 
us who waffle around somewhere in the 

Worry #4: Isn't it crazy to spend money, 
time, and brainpower solving people's in- 
fertility problems in an overpopulated 
world? The answer is yes. it is. Infertility 
research of all kinds (not just in vitro fertil- 
ization) should be a low-priority item on 
our national agenda. That's a position I've 
always found good for a few angry letters 
to the editor, accusing me of being inhu- 
mane and unfeeling and insisting that 
people have a right to children of their 
own. Do they? No matter what? That's a 
proposition we need to examine closely in 
an era of scarce resources. Infertility Is a 
great sorrow, but it is only one of many 
plaguing humanity and nowhere near the 
most important one, either. For one thing, 


The fetus (telt) is four months old. more than six inches long and already weighs about seven 
ounces. Though his eyes are closed, he Is an active fellow, clutching and grasping with his hands 
and pushing outward against the amniotic sac that contains him in a near-weightless environment. 
All olhis organs are now formed within his fetal body, and he is in a period of simple growtb-the 
forming of the eyes (above, left); the veins of the legs (above, right). 



/ \ rtists have played a vital role 
in the exploraiion of space — outer and otherwise. In the 1 9th century, 
landscape painter Thomas Moran accompanied the Hayden expedi- 
tion that fir.st explored Yellowstone. Moran's heroic canvases depicted 
the virgin natural wonder of the region; they helped convince Congress 
and the U.S. public to set aside Yellowstone as our firs! national park. 

Ciockv/ise from below: A balloon probe descends on Jupiter in Adolf Shatter's 
painting; Chesiey Bonasi.cH s vision of a red Martian volcano; the earth as 
seen from the moon by Charles Siticnger; Don Dixon'!; ra-crssiinn of earr.'rs 
early capture of the moon; and his view of Saturn from its largest satellite. 

Artists have had a similar impact this century in astronomy. Their task 
has been a difficult one: to illustrate the unseeable. They have taken 
astronomy— with its benumbing mathematics and interminable star 
fields— and turned it into stunning, yet accurate, visions the public can 
understand. There is little question that the taxpayers rallied behind the 
U.S. space program in part because of magazine pictorials that 
showed them what planets, moons, comets, and the distant reaches of 
the galaxy might look like when we can get there in person. 

One of the earliest— and best— space artists was Lucien Ffudaux. 
Rudaux was both an artist and a professional astronomer, and his lunar 
paintings done in the 1 920s and '30s bear an uncanny resemblance to 
Apollo photographs. His imaging of Jupiter's cloud belts and zones 
(see page 90), though 40 years old, is as accurate as any picture of the 
planet before 1973, the year the Pioneer fiyby brought us direct photo- 

4 The space artist's task has been a difficult one: to illustrate the unseeable.? 

£ Science fiction has inspired some of our most imaginative space paintings- 9 

graphs of Jupiter— a rsmarkable accomplishment for either art or science. 

Some of the most imaginative astronomical art appeared in science fiction 
magazines of the 1920s and '30s; a good example would be Frank Paul's space 
station (page 85). Many Americans got their first glimpses of our universe in pulp 
periodicals with names like Amazing and Astounding. A breakthrough of sorts 
occurred in July 1 939, when National Geographic published the paintings of 
Charles Bittenger, including his view of the earth as seen from the moon (page 
82). Bittenger's paintings were among the very first to appear in a popular, na- 
tionally distributed — and "respectable" — magazine. To be fair to the science fic- 
tion pulps, many critics feel that some of their astronomical artwork in the '30s 
was far more accurate than that published bylhe Geographic. 

In 1 957 the Geographic redeemed itself with the article, "How Man-made Sat- 
ellites Can Affect Our Lives," accompanied by beautiful paintings of satellites in 
orbit — coming forth at a time when only the Soviets had a satellite in space, just a 

CoumerciocKwise Horn 

right: An asteroid 

hollowed out to form 

a "space ark"; Bone- 

stelfs version of 

Saturn seen from a 

nearby moon; Don 

Davis's vision of 

what a solar eclipse 

would look like viewed 

from Saturn's ring; 

astronauts explore 

a Satumian moon. 

single Sputnik. National Geographic also introduced the Incredible Lu- 
dek Pesek lo American readers in 1 970 (see Pesek's visions of Saturn, 
pages 85 and 88). 

But perhaps the greatesl of all space artists is Chesley Bonestell. His 
now-classic books — with text by Wernher Von Braun — were 
doubtlessly influential in glamorizing the appeal of space exploration. 
(Bonestell's work can be seen on pages 82, 85, and 86.) 

Counterclockwise from above: Paul Lehr's surrealistic spacecraft combines 
elements of hardware and organic forms; Ludek Pesek's conception of what it 
would look like inside Saturn's rings, which are composed of millions of rocks 
and moonlets or ice: a spacecratt makes emergency repairs on a small plane- 
toid: James Hervat's re-creation of a Mariner 1 flyby of Mercury. 

i Would we have gone to the moon had not artists first painted the way? 9 

67?ws curious marriage of fact and fantasy has opened a path to the stars. 9 

All the art reproduced here has been taken from the newly released 
book Space Art: A Starlog Photo Guidebook, compiled and written by 
Ron Miller, former art director with the National Air & Space Museum. 
Published by Starlog magazine, it's available in Walden and Dalton 
bookstores, or may be purchased directly from: Space Art, Dept. 1 0, 
O'Quinn Studios, Inc., 475 Park Ave. So.. New York, N.Y. 1 001 6. The pa- 
perback edition is $7.95; the deluxe gold-stamped slipcase edition, 
$12.00. Include $2.00 postage and handling fee for each copy. OO 

Counterclockwise from below: This Lucien Rudaux painting of Jupiter, though 
40 years old, is cited lor its accuracy even today: a lire ball— an unusually 
large, bright meteor— disintegrates over the English countryside (artist un- 
known): a James Wyeth painting of Blockhouse 34 at Kennedy Space Center: 
Jupiter as seen Irom one of its moons, painted in 1927 (artist unknown). 

Negative emotional 

states may be the critical 

component of all 

common diseases-even cancer. 



Some years ago. when 1 was a lit- 
tle younger bul just as peculiar, I 
-was a general surgeon more in- 
terested in why people got sick than in 
cutting them — and equally interested in 
why they got well. Eventually. I decided 
that it I were to get any of my crazy ideas 
accepted. I'd have to become a psychia- 
trist. So I started hunting tor a psychiatry 
residency. I was interviewed by one emi- 
nent gentleman and incidentally ex- 
pressed my belief that anger and depres- 
sion were important mechanisms in Ihe 
induction of cancer. He sneered, not very 
politely, and said, "Every weekend we get 
at least a dozen nuts in the emergency 
room who have figured out what causes 
cancer." I asked, "What do they say?" His 
reply, which I treasure, was, "We ignore 
them ... we have better things to do." 

Better things to do? Yes, I suppose so. 
From his point of view we already know 
that cancer is caused by this, that, and 
the other thing. The list grows daily — just 
watch your newspaper. 

Although I will concede that constant 
exposure to soot does relate to car- 
cinoma of the scrotum among chimney 
sweeps in England, l have difficulty ac- 
cepting the idea that everything I like is 
carcinogenic. I am told, in numerous sci- 
entific announcements, that maraschino 
cherries, barbecued meals, the water I 
drink, and the air I breathe are all going to- 
lay me low. And that's not all. Eggs, 


sugar, milk, cream, butter (my wife and I 
probably eat several tons of these deadly 
items per year, to the accompaniment ol 
shrieks from our friends) are all denigrated 
by the utmost authorities. Leaving the 
worst for last, tobacco, the sin of sins, as 
well as coffee, the mainstays of my exis- 
tence and lunctioning— well, they say you 
would be safer sitting all day playing Rus- 
sian roulette with a forty-five* 

This all sounds very sensible, but it 
nonetheless leaves me entirely dissatis- 
fied. Some people smoke and get lung 
cancer; lots of people smoke and don't 
get lung cancer. My questions remain un- 
answered: why do people get sick? And 
why do some stay sick? And why do peo- 
ple get well, and if they don't, why not? 

Are these impossible questions? At the 
moment, given the available models, it 
would appear so. Physicians, of course, 
have all the answers unless you look 
closely. They have names lor all the known 
diseases — sometimes, lots of names— 
and people do feel some relief when given 
a name for what is bothering them. Af- 
flicted individuals pestiterously return to 
the doctor or chiropractor or, lately, to an 
infinite variety of gurus and complain that 
they feel no better. 

We have doctors whose model for "dis- 
eases" are due, they say. to "real" organic 
causes. We also have the psychosomati- 
cists, most of whom give a fairly clear mes- 
sage that, basically, it is all in your head. 
Sandwiched in between is a new breed of 
patient, semi-antiestablishment. who en- 
joys health food a lot. This group is uncom- 
fortable with partisans of either of the for- 
mer approaches and is searching out "al 
ternative treatment modes." In forme 
days, people who employed such thera- 
pies were called quacks, but now they 
seem to be practicing holistic medicine, 
acupuncture, acupressure, trans- 
cendental meditation, faith healing, and 
who knows what else. For those who want 
something to smear on, shoot up, or in- 
gest, we have royal queen bee jelly, Lae- 
trile, Krebiozen. and other varieties of 
rather more concrete treatments. 

The really weird thing is that all of these 
work— sometimes, somehow, and to vari- 
able degrees. But people still get sick. As 
soon as we stamp out one disease, a 
worse one appears. Sometimes without 
stamping one out, a new one starts in: it al- 
most seems as if we must have disease. 
We have to get sick, one way or another, in 
spite of, and more frequently now be- 
cause of, scientific advances. 

"Iatrogenic" is an increasingly popular 
word lor the trouble you get alter you go to 
the doctor. There are even people who are 
hideously ill yet— to paraphrase 
Shakespeare— prefer to keep those ills 
they have than fly to medical management 
they know not of. Are there medical ad- 
vances? Yes. of course, but if you add 
them all uprpa/ticularly here in scientific 
America, we humans should not be having 
high blood pressure, obesity, coronary ar- 

tery disease, and on and on, I won't even 
mention the unconquerable head colds, 
sinusitis, and. in the young, ear infections, 
tonsillitis, acne vulgaris, and much, much 

Yet all the same, the clues abound. 
Once in a great while you encounter an in- 
dividual who has managed to live to an ad- 
vanced age. who is not sure what doctors 
are for, since he or she never goes to see 
one, and who dies — usually while 
asleep— without assistance from contem- 
porary diagnosis or scalpels. Others, it 
seems, are the opposite, always having 
something wrong somewhere. They look 
at you blankly when asked when they last 
were well. Most people are somewhere 
between these two extremes, having alter- 
nating periods of health and sickness over 
the years, the finale being some type of 
unsuccessful major medical ritual. 

Finally, there are the so-called cancer 
miracles, which do actually happen, 
however rarely. 

All this seemed clear to me in 1 960 or 
thereabouts I imagined that thoughts, 
language, and emotions had a good deal 
to do with illness. (For this I was consid- 
ered quite disturbed by many of my asso- 
ciates.) The crux of the matter was that 
each patient, with all his or her problems, 
should have exactly those problems. The 
more deeply I went into that person's be- 
havior, thinking, and lifestyle, the more 
sense it made. Most particularly, it 
seemed that unhappiness, of whatever 
type, was an integral part of getting sick. 

I recall a charming young woman af- 
flicted with a relatively common though 
obscure condition called "idiopathic cer- 
vical adenitis." This means that she had 
swollen glands in her neck that were 
tender and bothersome; no one could fig- 
ure out why. She had seen dentists, throat 
specialists, and internists to no avail. I 

was treating her for something slse but 
became interested in her neck difficulties, 
and we talked a good bit. She was a lonely 
girl, rather prudish, slightly overreligious, 
and very inexperienced in the ways of the 
world. She found most males overly ag- 
gressive in sexual matters, so never dat- 
ed, Suddenly, while she was still my pa- 
tient, a man in trer office started to show 
considerable interest in her. Within a few 
weeks she was a changed girl— sparkling, 
alert, wide-eyed. And, fascinating to me, 
the chronically swollen nodes in her neck 
completely disappeared. This lasted six 
weeks; then she found out that he was 
married, happily so, with a gaggle of chil- 
dren. Literally within a matter of days, the 
nodes returned, accompanied by their as- 
sociated miseries and distress. 

To my amazement, I was soon able to 
find similar factors in every patient I saw. 
Some cases, as the one above, were obvi- 
ous. Others were extremely obscure, re- 
quiring long periods of observation. Many 
patients totally denied carefully con- 
cealed emotional pains, while others were 
completely unaware that they were un- 
happy, feeling this to be their "normal" 
state. I gradually learned ways to get 
through to them and in the process 
learned how devious the human mind 
can be. 

At one point I began to realize that the 
puzzles of human illness were nof insolu- 
ble. I gave occasional lectures (and was 
considered something of a quack), but 
mainly I kept working with patients and 
studying in all directions. I learned Qf 
Darwin's 23-year silence and so kept 
silent — for the most part. The exceptions 
were my frequent letters to the editor and 
book reviews, each with one or two of my 
own ideas tucked in: a comment on 
wedding-ring dermatitis, a brief discus- 
sion of the emotional feedback of shoulder 
posture, a hint that schizophrenia might 
be caused by disturbed thinking (instead 
of being the cause of disturbed thinking), 
and so on, 

But the climate gradually changed, and 
now I no longer wish to avoid open publi- 
cation. So, let's state a few basic defini- 
tions and postulates and then proceed: 

• There is no such thing as a fact: any ver- 
bal statement is an opinion, no matter how 
labeled. For example, any statement can 
be called either an opinion or a fact. If you 
call it an opinion, you bear in mind the pos- 
sibility of error. If you call it a fact, you are 
neurotically expressing a belief that the 
statement is gold-plated, never to be 
questioned, and. more important, you are 
turning off your thinking machine as to that 

• Objective knowledge is a myth: all 
"knowledge," being based on biases in 
"perception" and "cognition," is subjec- 
tive and emotionally determined. 

• There are only two emotions, like and 
dislike: all others are compounds of one of 
these plus a personally tormulated com- 
ment about "reality" (e.g., "lonely" = I am 

all alone now + I do not like being alone). 

• Anger and depression are not separate 
emotions. Anger is: "Reality, as I seem to 
perceive it, does not match my fantasy of 
how it ought to be. but I think there is 
something I can do about it." Depression 
is the same, except . . "but there is noth- 
ing I can do about it." 

• (This one is critical.) Negative emotions 
are associated with unnecessary distur- 
bances of bodily mechanisms, propor- 
tional fo the duration and intensity of the 
negative emotional slate. Such reactions 
are not limited to a particular organ. All 
bodily organs and cells express their re- 
sponse to such brain states in various 
ways If you are angry or depressed about 
your job, your stomach acids will either go 
up or down; your blood pressure will go up 
or down; your glands will increase or de- 
crease their functioning, etc. 

Consider the concept of "stress." There 
are, from my point of view, two reactions to 
stress. If it makes you miserable, your 
body will have all kinds of deleterious re- 
actions. But if the stress is enjoyable — 
pursuing a not-too-willing member of the 
opposite sex, for example — the stress will 
make both you and your body function 
better than ever, up to the limits Mother 
Nature herself has installed. 

Is there, then, a significant possibility 
that anger and depression, rather than be- 
ing normal and necessary concomitants 
of human existence, are the long-sought 
'variable factors in the development of all 
human diseases, both "mental" and 

This idea, bizarre as it sounds, has been 
for me of enormous clinical utility, and I do 
believe it has enormous potential for the 
welfare of everyone. It means that you can 
do something to try to avoid getting sick. It 
also means that if you are sick, there is 
something you can do to promote your re- 
covery. And. of particular interest to the 
medical profession, it eliminates the idea 
that there are "unbeatable" diseases and 
affords new approaches to the major hu- 
man scourges — cancer, coronary artery 
disease, and hypertension, to name but a 

This entire subject is, of course, incredi- 
bly complex: if my ideas seem simplistic, 
they are not — I have seen them work when 
all else failed. But before going on, I would 
like to insert a bit of personal history. In 
medical school, where I was able to listen 
to what I was told — and to repeat it back in 
test situations — they told me: "Measles is 
caused by a virus, and that's a fact." In my 
head I recorded. "They say measles is 
caused by a virus, and that is an opinion." 
Some of their "facts" seemed potentially 
useful, so I decided tahang on to all of 
them in case they came in handy. Some 
did; a lot didn't. So I became a doctor and 
later a surgeon and later a psychiatrist, 
but always with a head full of questions. 

I became extensively concerned with 
the state of mind of my patients, both be- 
fore and after surgery. At the same time. I 

became deliberately introspective, trying 
to look into my own head to see what was 
going on and how it worked. The net result 
of all this was an enormously changed 
state of mind on my part concerning the 
nature of my patients and their illnesses 
and how to care for them. I found that sci- 
entific medicine alone was not enough, 
and that my intense emotional involve- 
ment with the patient was part ol the treat- 
ment. Further, I found that anything I did to 
make the patient fee/ better helped him to 
get better. 

I continued to practice "good" medicine 
by eliminating treatments or medications 
that in some way made the patient feel 
worse. I also added anything that had a 
definite "positive placebo" effect. Critical 
to all this was my belief that I could help 
the patient, no matter what the diagnosis. 
Equally critical was my ability to make the 

patient feel the same thing. The results? 
My patients did better, recovered sooner, 
and had fewer complications. Even peo- 
ple hopelessly ill or dying showed definite 
improvement in the quality of their remain- 
ing existence. 

Now let's start over and try to answer a 
few of those impossibly difficult questions. 

Why do people get sick? It is not due to 
"physical" or "mental" factors but to the 
sum of all factors: physical, mental, emo- 
tional, and environmental, past and 
present, Careful observation, however, 
suggests that negative emotional states of 
some type are almost always present and 
contributory. Further, it is my opinion that 
what actually happens to people is not as 
important in producing illness as what 
they think happened is. In other words, if 
something bad happens, you don't have 
to get sick if you can avoid getting misera- 
ble aboutthe situation, 

Why do people get what they get when 
they get it? This is the problem of psycho- 

somatic specificity (e.g., what all the 
people with certain diseases have in com- 
mon}. If you consider everything that has 
happened to an individual- since concep- 
tion (or before), everything others have 
said to him or her, every thought he or she 
has ever had, plus everything that has 
been happening in the universe during the 
corresponding time, it becomes obvious 
that each person should, at any instant in 
time, have exactly what he or she does 
have. And when you look closely, you do 
discover that people with similar diseases 
have similar patterns, most particularly in 
their thinking. 

The American Cancer Society provided 
me with an excellent example of the disad- 
vantages of "normal" thinking. In an ad, 
underneath a series of photographs 
showing a little boy and girl holding 
hands, the caption read: "Little children 
shouldn't get leukemia." According to me, 
that message has a number of less than 
desirable effects: it makes you angry or 
depressed, and more seriously, it does not 
lead to open thinking, Try this instead: 
"Since certain children do get leukemia, if 
we understood all the factors, it would be- 
come obvious that those children should 
have gotten leukemia." 

This phrase opens your mind to an infin- 
ity of questions, a few of which just might 
be important in seeing what the processes 
actually are. The problem is, of course, in 
the word "should." In the first case, it 
means "it would be nicer if," but it is ex- 
pressed in a psychotic manner, e.g. con- 
trary to reality. In the second case, it 
means "it is appropriate that" and is more 
in accord with so-called reality as we 
perceive it. 

Does this mean that all diseases are 
mental? No. I say that mind processes 
(which means the functioning of the total 
brain in the body) are indeed part of, but 
only part of, getting sick or recovering. 

Then how we think does contribute to 
getting sick or welt? Exactly,! And this 
brings up the other problem, equally com- 
plex, of just how our language affects our 
perceptions and behaviors. I will only indi- 
cate here that: (a) language is full of traps, 
(b) there is no single right word to apply to 
anything or any process, and (c) each 
word you use as a label for something 
makes you see it in an entirely different 
way. Say "I am free" and mean it. Say "I am 
a slave" and mean it. Then alternate— arid 
watch your feelings. 

Having arrived at that point, perhaps we 
can now start talking about the diseases 
so prevalent in our day, and what, per- 
haps, each of us can do to avoid getting 
sick; or if sick, what we can do to restore 
ourselves to health. 

Obviously, we cannot discuss here all 
the major diseases so I picked one that is 
now practically epidemic and truly a major 
public health problem: high blood pres- 
sure. It wrecks hearts, kidneys, and 
other things and leads to one of the most 
tragic of human conditions, a stroke. 



"Our mora/ responsibility 
is not to stop the future, 
but to shape it . . . to 
channel our destiny in 
humane directions 
and to try to ease the 
trauma of transition. " 


■ f* ■ hat date pops into your mind when you hear the 
"I I il I word "future"? 2001, perhaps. . .Of 1984? 
mm \J Probably no nonaction writer has done as much as 
Alvin Toffler to persuade us all that the best answer is 1978. Right 
now, Right under our feet. His hugely successful (six million cop- 
ies) Future Shock, published in 1970, made Toffler one of the 
world's best-known futurists. He has been both observer and 
shaper of the future we are living in: as author of such books as 
The Eco-spasm Report and the forthcoming The Third Wave: as 
a consultant and advisor- to many foundations and corporations; 
and as a lecturer whose engagements, combined with his own 
continuing research and interviews, keep him on Ihe go. 

Not surprisingly for a man with that kind of schedule, Toffler 
appreciates the speed of the Anglo-French Concorde: moreover, 
as a licensed mulliengine pilot himself, he admires the super- 
sonic airliner's "technological poetry," But he applauds the Amer- 
ican decision to halt development of our own SST and says. "I 

think the future will show [the Concorde] wasn't a sensible ex- 
penditure . , . and even if it were, I'm sympathetic to the people 
here who were trying to control their technological environment." 

In recent years, Toffler has argued that if the emerging postin- 
dustrial world is to escape both totalitarianism and anarchy, 
we must create a democracy that is not only participatory but 

"We are creating a new society," he says. "Not a changed 
society, not an extended, larger-than-life version of our present 
society, but a new society. Unless we understand this, we will 
destroy ourselves in trying to cope with tomorrow," 

Toffler has just finished a half century of his own personal fu- 
ture. Raised in New York, he graduated from New York University, 
spent several years knocking around as a blue-collar worker and 
truck driver before turning to journalism. In the late 1950s he went 
to Washington as White House correspondent for a Pennsylvania 
daily, then joined Fortune magazine as an associate editor. Later 


he wrote for many popular magazines while contributing to such 
scholarly journals as Technology and Culture and the Annals of 
the Academy of Political and Social Science. AsaVisiting Profes- 
sor at Cornell, he taught a course employing simulation methods" 
to analyze technology and values. The words "future shock," now 
almost cliche, first appeared in an article he wrote in 1965. The 
concept itself — that the accelerating demands of change can 
prove too much for us and our social mechanisms to withstand — 
led him through five years of interviews, study, and reflection on 
the ways in which we can — and can't — keep our balance. The re- 
sult was Future Shock, which reached far more people than had 
20 years of "think tank" prognostications. Future Shock also won 
Tofflerthe coveted Prix de Meilleur Livre Etranger, the McKinsey 
Book Award for "distinguished contribution to management liter- 
ature, "and half a dozen honorary degrees in law and science. 

A Connecticut home is the base of operations for Toftler and 
Heidi, his wife for 28 years. She shares in the research, edits his 
writing, and in 1 975 helped him organize a committee of iuturists 
who were instrumental in getting the members of House and Sen- 
ate to set up a "futures caucus" on Capitol Hill — the Congression- 
al Clearinghouse on the Future. "The future must be neither 
ignored nor captured by an elite," Toffle.r urged at that time. Since 
then, the spread of popular concern over technological develop- 
ments from nuclear power to genetic manipulation has con- 
firmed Toffler's belief that our social, political, and economic 
adaptability may all reach their limits — unless we recognize just 
how much of the future is not far off and speculative but quite lit- 
erally here today. 

The following interview was conducted by OMNI editor and 
publisher, Bob Guccione. 

Omni: One of the most striking develop- 
ments since Future Shock appeared is a 
much wider and deeper questioning of 
science and technology — not just con- 
cern about, say, the" consequences of au- 
tomation, but concern about all the values 
and goals of "progress." What do you 
make of this concern? 
Toffler: When I was a child I saw the movie 
Pasteur. I can remember seeing many 
movies about Edison, Ehrlich, Alexander 
Graham Bell, and other great scientists, 
doctors, or technologists. They were al- 
ways heroes. And they were my heroes. 

By the late 1 950s and early '60s, we be- 
gan to get more Frankenstein images — 
images of scientists and engineers not as 
saviors, but as angels of doom. Dr. 
Strangelove appeared on the scene. Sin- 
ister figures. Today I know perfectly sweet, 
highly intelligent people who are so turned 
off by science and technology, so angry at 
what they regard as the arrogance and 
dogmatism of the men in white coats, that 
they would gladly lynch a few before 

This drastic change in public attitude 
reflects something far deeper happening 
today — a fundamental idea-quake, an up- 
heaval in our whole view of reality. This is a 
change so deep it has no precedent in the 
past several hundred years. As a result, 
both science and technology— which 
until now have triggered so many revolu- 
tions — are themselves about to be 

The industrial age began, one might 
say, with Newton and Descartes, the 
founding fathers of modern science. New- 
ton told us that the entire universe was 
nothing more than a machine — a clock 
Descartes told us we could eventually un- 
derstand that clock if we took it apart, 
component by component, and studied 
the behavior of the pieces. What we have 
lived in during the past 300 years — ■until 
Einstein and the physicists began to chal- 
lenge the mechanistic view — was not a 
scientific age, but a scientistic age. 

We raised the scientist to the status of 
priest. We took from science not its em- 
phasis on tentativity, on experiment, on 
skepticism, on imagination and daring hy- 
pothesis, but its mechanistic, tinker-toy 
notions of reality. We sought not tentative 

98 OMNI 

findings, which the next round of explora- 
tion could disconfirm, but "scientific laws." 
We reduced causality to a simple-minded 
search for a single cause. We viewed a 
fact not as a temporary metaphorical ex- 
planation that might prove useful, but as a 
fixed, static, single-sided phenomenon. 
We looked at things one way, instead of 
through multiple lenses. 

Today all of this is under fire — not merely 
by antiscientific irrationalists and mystics, 
but by scientists themselves. They are 
breaking out of the old scientistic modes 
of thought and searching beyond es- 
tablished boundaries for new metaphors, 
new combinations of insight from both 
West and East. They are beginning to see 
science itself not as some relentless pro- 
cess, driven by its own mysterious inner 
imperatives, but as a social and cultural 
process we have created and that we, 
hopefully, can still shape. 

I think that out of the raging war between 
"establishment science" and its critics — 
both inside and outside the science 
community — will come a new, far more 
flexible, modest, useful science of the fu- 
ture. This revolution in science will be part 
of a revolution in society as a whole. We 
are moving into a new civilization. 
Omni: A new civilization? 
Toffler; Exactly. 
Omni: What do you mean? 
Toffler: I mean that for 300 years we've 
been living in an industrial civilization. This 
period of human history is now over. We're 
moving swiftly out of — and beyond — 
industrialism toward a new phase that will 
be technological but no longer industrial. 
Omni: Aren't technological and industrial 
the same? We've always used these 
words almost interchangeably. 
Toffler: No. The industrial age was based 
on a certain style of technology, on tech- 
nologies representing a certain stage of 
development. Newtonian and Cartesian 
ideas were developed, elaborated, and 
applied to more and more fields during the 
period of early industrial development. 
And the two lines of development 
wrapped themselves together like a dou- 
ble heiix. On one side, Scientism; on the 
other, Brute Force technology. 
Omni: Why "Brute Force"? 
Toffler: Because industrial civilization, 

during its 300-year-long dominance of the 
planet, produced machines that were 
energy-hungry, machines that were raven- 
ous and wasteful of raw materials, ma- 
chines that were huge, machines that pol- 
luted heavily. Machines that were capital 

This primitive, battering-ram kind of 
technology characterized the industrial 
age and made mass production possible. 
It gave rise to industries such as the tex- 
tile, steel, auto, rubber, and rail and paid 
oft in vastly improving the standard of life 
for hundreds of millions of human beings. 
It also raped and robbed others, but that is 
another part of the story. The fact is, indus- 
trialism increased the life span and solved 
the problem of hunger for a sizable chunk 
of the human race. 

But at the same time, the Newtonian-, 
Cartesian habit of looking at things 
through only a single lens meant we sel- 
dom stopped to think about side effects. A 
good friend of mine, Dr. Donald F. Klein, 
who is one of the world's top drug experts, 
is often asked whether this or that drug 
has a side effect. He shrugs and says, "No 
side effects, no central effect." You can't 
have one without the other. 

But that's not how we've looked at tech- 
nology historically. We've looked at its 
central effect — its ability to deliver a buck 
or a military bang — and said, "Aren't we 
smart?" We forgot to look at the side 
effects. Or we didn't want to look at them. 
Omni: How do you feel. about the people 
who say it's time to stop technology? 
Toffler: I can understand their anger, frus- 
tration, and fear. But I think the idea of 
"stopping technology" is both futile and 
immoral. I think there's a better way to 
achieve what most of these people want, 

What we're seeing are increasing at- 
tacks on technology, not from Luddites, 
but from thoughtful people. They present 
a very powerful case, pointing out the 
atrocities and dangers that technology 
has trailed in its wake until now. 

Of course, some critics are merely tech- 
nophobes. They'd like the whole world to 
go back to some pretechnological age. 
They forget how life was for most human 
beings in those times. How short, brutal, 
and stultifying it was. How viciously anti- 



For the competition, he had 
carved a beautiful set- 
breathing life into every piece. 



Tomov was most innocent 
of all. li was this, per- 
haps, that caused the 
real confusion, challenged for a mo- 
ment the course of history, and led 
eventually to Tomov's death. But To- 
mov, dead or alive and whatever part 
he played, is not an important ele- 
ment in this tale; being, as Tomov 
was, mere flesh and blood. 

Our heroes are wood. Exquisitely 
carved; painted with infinite care; 
each one a child born through ago- 
nies of thought, months of uncer- 
tainty, a change here, a new idea 
there; but wood. Tomov made them. 
After the long hours at the dyeing 
vats of the woolen mill at Rybinskh, it 
was joy to hurry home to the bench 
beside the sink, take his little box of 
tools from the cupboard, and live the 
evenings with the smooth, warm 
wood . It was worth the year it took, 
especially if one had but a small 
chance of winning the contest and of 
being rewarded with the trip to Mos- 
cow, visits to the shrines, the hand- 
shakes of the mighty ones, and 
— surely — the extra ration coupons. 
One might even see Comrade Stalin, 
or find a better job waiting at the mill 
when one returned. 


So Tomov studied, first. He went to 
the shop of books and page by page 
looked through a hundred, or a thou- 
sand. Even those on back shelves, 
books so suspect they were like a 
ticking bomb if one dared have such 
in one's home, books of which pri- 
vate possession could bring, on any 
night, the silent thunder of disap- 
proval; even those Tomov turned 
page by page. And on those pages 
were the things he sought. A queen, 
dressed in such flagrant riches it was 
enough to sicken Tomov, a queen 
whose very gown told of her faith- 
lessness, her carnal loves. A church- 
man, pompous, fat, as lecherous as 
the queen. A king — ah!, these were 
what Tomov was after. No need to la- 
bor his dye-stained fingers with mak- 
ing sketches. Tomov would remem- 
ber until each vicious line was 
shaped in the solid oak. 

Then the carving. Tomov grew as 
each completed piece was set aside 
and a new one begun. The little, eas- 
ier ones Tomov made first, the eight 

chain-laden slaves, the eight strong, 
sickle-swinging comrades like he'd seen 
on the collective farms. These he made 
first so his hands could gain in skill for the 
master pieces. Next were the two castles, 
showing by their tumbling towers the dec- 
adence they represented. Almost with a 
shudder Tomov turned from them to shape 
the perfect tiny replicas of the new apart- 
ment house just built in Rybinskh for the 
faithful of the People's Republic. Then the 
soldiers. They were easy to think out, to 
plan, but hard to carve. The effeminate, 
weak, dull ones were the worst, but even 
the two broad Russian generals angered 
Tomov as he carved them, by bringing 
back to his mouth the taste of mud and 
■ snow, by causing the half-healed wound 
in his hip to ache, by arousing the shame a 
soldier of the Red Army must feel at re- 
membering his fear. The fwo fat bishops 
brought some of the same trouble, for To- 
mov as a child had held his mother's hand 
and walked the long mosaic aisle to kiss a 
ring worn by a kind and gentle man. What 
one read and heard helped Tomov form 
the beady eyes, the obese jowls, but the 
sweat was heavy on his forehead before 
he felt quite sure his knife had cut the smile 
from the lips of both . With a sigh of relief 
he set the pieces with the others and be- 
gan the commissars. These, when done, 
left him the task that brought the greatest 
pleasure. There was nothing the least bit 
personal, nothing to disturb Tomov in 
creating the wanton queen. Only ideas 

well learned went into finishing up the er- 
mined frame and gold-crowned skull for 
the Capitalist king. And ideals precious to 
every Russian gave joy to shaping the 
healthy Peasant boy and girl in regal 

With only one month to work before the 
contest deadline, Tomov spent every eve- 
ning turning the carefully stolen bits of 
powdered dye to paint and bringing final 
life to every piece. There was not even 
time to ask Stolovkin to drop in and play a 
game before the set had to be bundled up 
neatly and sent off to the Culture Office in 
Moscow. Tomov regretted that, especially 
later. If only Stolovkin and he had tried but 
one game. It might have made Tomov 
pause, perhaps not send his proud entry 
to the contest at all. But there was no time. 

Tomov shook off another regret. The set 
would not be returned to him, no one 
would have seen his handiwork complet- 
ed. No one except the beggar who had 
knocked on Tomov's door and, while he 
waited for a bit of bread, had turned a 
bishop in his hand and certainly admired 
the work. The gesture the beggar made as 
he replaced the piece was odd, thought 
Tomov. It reminded him of the sign the 
priest used to make in blessing, back 
when there had been a priest in Rybinskh. 
Well the beggar, at least, had seen and 
liked his chessmen. That was something. 

Through the processes of bureaucra- 
cies, the decisions would be delayed for 
some months, the winners unknown. This 

should have given Tomov a reprieve; yet 
inthe period of deliberation danger 
threatened almost at once. 

Dosiev, second in command at the Cul- 
ture Office in Moscow, was struck immedi- 
ately by the skill, the care, the unusual col- 
ors that had gone into entry K2726. He 
placed the box with the others, between 
the painting of the Leningrad boy and the 
bridge made of sticks and twigs, with half 
an idea in his mind. If Andreievich hap- 
pened in at the right time, they might re- 
turn to the office in the evening and play 
the interesting set. Andreievich was a fine 
partner for chess, relatively easy to beat 
yet capable on occasion of creating a diffi- 
cult situation on the board. It made it 
pleasant, thought Dosiev, to be chal- 
lenged and at the same time to know one 
could pretty surely win. He chuckled as it 
occurred to him to let Andreievich see what 
he could do with the king and queen while 
he, Dosiev — the better player— moved re- 
lentlessly on to the inevitable checkmate 
by the People's men. It would be a moral 
victory, as well as a personal one. 

The evening came, and with it Andrei- 
evich. After expressing his pleasure at the 
workmanship of the pieces and demurring 
a bit over representing the enemy, An- 
dreievich consented to play the Capitalist 
set. That he won was of little concern. He 
had bettered Dosiev once or twice before 
in the 20-odd times they had played. Be- 
sides, looking back, Dosiev remembered 
he had been rather sleepy that evening. 
But, somehow or other, Dosiev felt com- , 
pelled to play again with Andreievich on 
the same basis with these chessmen. 

At the second meeting in the office, An- 
dreievich argued for his right to play the 
Peasants. Dosiev prevailed upon him to 
repeat their earlier sides, pointing out that 
his winning would balance the score not 
only between Andreievich and himself but 
between the sets as well. Not to An- 
dreievich but to himself Dosiev admitted 
he was feeling a little tension about it. This 
tension, Dosiev reasoned afterwards, was 
no doubt the cause for Andreievich's win- 
ning again. 

The third meeting Dosiev handled dif- 
ferently. He smuggled the box of pieces 
home so they might play inthe morning on 
the holiday. No use letting end-of-day 
drowsiness or fatigue cause him to play 
poorly. Also, Dosiev went to bed early and 
had a full night's sleep. This time there was 
no trouble with Andreievich about the 
men. Having won twice with the gaily 
gruesome royalty, Andreievich was quite 
happy to stay with them. In fact, as he 
placed the chained-siave pawns, the fat 
bishops, the crumbling castles, the weak- 
ling knights, the wanton queen, and the 
skeleton king, Andreievich noticed a feel- 
ing of confidence new to him facing 
Dosiev across a chess board. A third time 
Andreievich won. Handily, too, with many 
pieces left and with Dosiev wiped out and 
helpless. Looking at Dosiev, however, An- 
dreievich decided not to laugh aloud as 

he felt like doing, Instead, he said good 
day and left, 

The following morning, wretched from a 
night disturbed by many shapeless feel- 
ings of anxiety, Dosiev decided io return 
the chessmen to the office and forget the 
whole affair, He would not be obliged to 
participate in ihe judging. His job was sim- 
ply to arrange the entries, excluding the 
impossible works, so that Comrade 
Donovich and the man from the Kremlin 
Culture Office could select the winners. 
For a moment he considered throwing out 
the chessmen along with the poorer 
sketches, the too-crude sculpture, and 
other futile offerings. But no, he was mak- 
ing too much of nothing at all. 

On the street Dosiev passed Andrei- 
evich. Did his friend walk more erect, his 
head higher, his chest out? Ridiculous, 
Dosiev told himself. Even Andreievich's 
wide grin with his "Good morning'" 
aroused only a little resentment in Dosiev, 
But it was a new thing, that grin. The same 
evening, when Dosiev saw Andreievich 
looking through the shelves in the back of 
the shop of books, Dosiev came to a deci- 
sion. He would somehow place the matter 
before Comrade Donovich. Tomorrow. 

Comrade Donovich was first impatient, 
then supercilious, then plainly dis- 

"Fool! Because your friend improved 
and you grew careless at chess, you toss 
in bed and bother me over the shape of 
pieces of wood? Fagh! Bring me these 
chessmen. Let me see these midget mon- 
uments that shake you in your boots!" 

Although Donovich was without artistic 
background in any field except that of 
devising methods for eliciting greater ef- 
forts from inmates at a northern camp, he 
did in a sense justify his appointment as 
Director of the Moscow Culture Office in 
his reaction to Tomov's chessmen. 

"Aha! Interesting!" 

"Nice color. Nice knife work. Clever 
imagination, Dosiev! I am glad you show 
me these pieces. I take them home with 
me and still your fears, Yes, I like these. 
This fat fellow here, this cleric, looks 
almost alive. But you are an old woman, 
Dosiev. Tomorrow I tell you to stop seeing 
bogeymen in pieces of a tree." 

The following morning a pale Comrade 
Donovich walked worriedly into his office, 
mumbling to himself. He telephoned his 
colleague in Ihe Kremlin Culture Olfice to 
make an early appointment. He was told to 
come at once if he was so upset. 

Krakov listened closely till Donovich 
had finished babbling and pacing. When 
Donovich collapsed into a chair, Krakov 

"Your wife, you sayT-T.hree games, four 
games? Each lime she with the — what did 
you call it? — with the 'corrupt' set? Then 
your son, who had never played before 
and had to be taught the moves? He also 
won? I do not wonder, Comrade, that you 
are pate if you sat up all night playing 
chess — and teaching it to a child! But this 

foolishness about evil powers, plots, 
magic— surely you jest! But no. I see that 
you do not jest. Have you been well, 

Upon Donovich's protests that he had 
felt perfectly well until the previous eve- 
ning, Krakov determined he should make 
some gesture to relieve the man, 

"You brought the box? Good. I do not 
play the game, but leave the box with me. I 
have friends who play. Some, I believe. 
who play extremely well. 

It was nearly a week later that Donovich 
was summoned to Krakov's office. The Di- 
rector of the Moscow Culture Office, his 
man Dosiev tagging along, entered to 
face Krakov and two unsmiling members 
of the Politburo itself standing behind the 


"Comrade Krakov." 

"These chessmen!" 

"Comrade? You have tried them?" 

"Donovich, this box is identified only as 
entry K2726 in our contest. What is the 
name of the man or woman who made 
them? The address?" 

"Yes, yes. Dosiev, here, has it. Stop 
shaking, man, and give me the card with 
the name. Here you are, Comrades. One 
Alexovich Tomov, Woolen Mill, Rybinskh. 
You — confirmed my feelings?" 

"Tomov, Alexovich, Woolen Mill, Ry- 
binskh. Comrade Donovich, this chess set 
has been played in exactly sixty-seven en- 
jements. Five of the best players in 

Moscow have used these pieces, varying 
possession of the People's men and the 
enemy men," 

"And the results, Comrade Krakov?" 

"As you know, Comrade," 

"The reason, Comrade, have you 
learned that?" 

"We have! Or we have strong suspi- 
cions. Each player who used the proletar- 
ian pieces experienced a drowsiness as 
he played. There is evidence that these 
pieces are treated in some way, probably 
in the paint or dye, to produce this effect in 
the handling of the pieces. Very probably 
these chessmen are the agency of an im- 
perialist design to create uncertainty and 
fear in our glorious People's Republic. 

"We shall see this Tomov traitor, if there 
is such a one. He will be brought from Ry- 
binskh. Meanwhile, Petroev will come 
from Stalingrad. Petroev, who has mas- 
tered the ablest of the foreigners in the 
tournaments in London and Paris, will try 
your chessmen, So superior is his skill, no 
drowsiness, however maliciously in- 
duced, will defeat him. He will win with the 
peasant pieces." 

Back in Rybinskh, Tomov was not too 
surprised to learn he would go to Moscow. 
He was surprised, though, that the mes- 
sage should be brought by two members 
of the secret police and that he must leave 
at once, that same night. His wonder at 
this fact took away much of the pleasure 
he felt at winning the contest. (He was sure 
he had won, or else why the trip to Mos- 




Humanlike qualities of 
the dolphin brain 
suggest a potential for 
mammalian dialogue 
that could transform our 
views of all living 
species and the planet 
we share. 


In the sea, many mammalian brains have evolved to sizes equal 
to and larger than the critical size forlanguage as we know it. 
These brains are restricted to cetaceans: the porpoises, dol- 
phins, and the whales. No other sea mammals — otters, seals, 
sea lions— have brains above the critical threshold. 

Paleontologicai evidence suggests that the cetacea evolved 
tiie critical brain size for language 15 to 30 million years ago, 
something on the order of ten to 20 times longer ago than man 
with his present brain sTze appeared on this planet. In their 
souatic evolution cetacea developed brains up to six times 
:r than ours, 

Several species of cetaceans have been studied from the 
standpoint of the acoustic spectrum they use for communication 
nd for their echo recognition and ranging systems. The most in- 
" 'ely studied species is Tursiops truncatus, the bottle-nosed 

threshold for detection in the region from 30,000 Hz to 1 00,000 
Hz. Smaller dolphins use higher frequencies, and the larger dol- 
phins use somewhat lower frequencies than humans. 

There is sufficient overlap between the acoustic output of the 
human voice and the hearing curves of the dolphins, so that ex- 
changes can take place between humans and dolphins in the 
sonic sphere. 

Dolphins in close proximity to man can voluntarily raise their 
blowholes into the air and make sounds in the presence of hu- 
mans. This takes place only when the dolphins are placed in ■ 
close proximity to humans who will speak to them or who are talk- 
ing to other humans speaking loudly enough for the dolphins to 
hear (tapes demonstrating such exchanges are available). 


Experiments using solitary dolphins in 
separate tanks connected by a "dolphin 
telephone" of a high-frequency pass band 
show that dolphins can carry on sonic 
communication by using such a link. 
Moreover, it has been demonstrated that 
dolphins use sonic communication to 
modify one another's behavior. 

The capacity of dolphins to use echoes 
tor recognition of objects has been stud- 
ied extensively. Such studies lead to the 
conclusion that the postulated language 
of dolphins, "delphinese," is possible be- 
cause ot the ability ot the dolphin to con- 
struct "acoustic pictures," which are the 
basic elements ot their language. Human 
languages are primarily based upon visu- 
al and manual images computed in an en- 
tirely different way than the elements of the 
cetacean languages. 

Language, as we know it, results from 
an agreement among individuals about 
the meaning of signals. Any two individu- 
als must agree upon the kinds of signals 
they are going to use. the rules for their 
manipulation, and their interpretation. 

Humans communicate in the immediate 
present through facial expressions, ges- 
tures of the body, physical contact, and 
the production of sounds in the mouth, 
throat, and larynx. Principal receptors of 
the body gestures and facial expressions 
in the receiving human are the eyes; one 
sees facial expressions and gestures. An- 
other route is physical contact in which 
tactile sense, pressure receptors, and so 
forth are used to receive the muscular mo- 
tions exerted by the transmitter. 

Cetacea communicate in similar ways, 
producing sounds, receiving them with 
their ears, interpreting those sounds, and 
constructing mental images, maps, and 
ideas. They also watch one another's mo- 
tions in the water and exchange physical 

Air-containing cavities within their bod- 
ies enable cetacea to emit most of their 
sound above water if there is an open pas- 
sageway to the atmosphere; or they can 
emit most of their sound into water if cavi- 
ties are closed and immersed in water. Hu- 
man speech depends upon such cavities 
being "open," coupled to the atmosphere 
through the mouth and the nose. In ceta- 
cea, during sound production the cavities 
are closed within the body, and the sonic 
energy is emitted into the water. 

Under water a cetacean can communi- 
cate ever astonishing distances, along the 
order of ten kilometers for the bottle-nosed 
dolphin and up to eight hundred kilome- 
ters for the finback whale. This long- 
distance transmission is due to the in- 
creased efficiency of sound waves in the 
dense medium of water. (The maximum 
transmission in the atmosphere of infor- 
mation contained in the human voice is 
limited to two to three kilometers under 
quiet conditions.) 

■' Because the air cavities dolphins use 
for the production of sound are totally en- 
closed inside the.body, they are closely 
coupled to body tissues, which, in turn, 
are closely coupled to the water of the sea. 
In general, dolphins have three sonic/ 
ultrasonic emitters: two of these are just 
below the blowhole, and the third is in the 
larynx. There are two plugs, a right plug 
and a left plug, that close the blowhole. As 
the blowhole opens, these plugs are 
pulled forward. If one continues to watch 
the blowhole region while it is closed, and 
the dolphin starts to make sounds (either 
pulses or whistles) under water, one can 
see movements of the plugs closing the 
blowhole. When the dolphin uses his right 
sonic emitter, one sees that side twitching; 
when he uses the left sonic emitter, one 
sees movements on the left. 

High speed x-ray movies taken of this 
region show that the sounds produced are 
formed by the tongue coming up against 
the membrane edge, forming a slit for the 

6 Dolphins, whales, and 

porpoises have demonstrated a 

capacity to survive far longer 

than humans. According to 

- paleontologica! evidence, 

some ocean mammals have 

had brains equal to ours for at 

least 30 million years. 9 

air. This slit is then analogous to our vocal 
chords and their impedance across our 

The dolphin has two right-side air sacs, 
two sacs on the left, and a tongue and a 
membrane on each side, totally indepen- 
dently controllable; he has two separately 
controllable sound sources whose fre- 
quencies, amplitudes, and click rates can 
be varied independently. He fills the upper 
sac, cdntracts the walls of the upper sac, 
and blows air through the slit between the 
tongue and the membrane edge into the 
lower sac. He can then contract the lower 
sac and blow the air back through the slit 
into the upper sac, As the sacs change 
size, their resonant qualities change so 
that the resonant click or whistle coming 
out of the sacs through the tissues into the 
water varies in frequency depending 
upon the size of the sac at that particular 

When the membrane edge is tight and 
the tongue presses against it, the mem- 
brane vibrates at very high frequencies, 
forming pulses so close together that they 
are heard as a continudus whistle. With a 
more lax membrane and lower air pres- 

sures, individual pulses of sound are re- 
leased from one sac to the other. Fre- 
quency analysis of such pulses and whis- 
tles shows that they vary as the size of the 
coupled sacs varies. 

With this rather complex apparatus a 
ddlphin can clicjs at a given rate on one 
side, at another rate on the other side, or 
he can whistle over one frequency range 
on one side and another frequency range 
on the other; Or he can click on one side 
and whistle on the other side, 

The sounds are transmitted through the 
flesh surrounding the sacs — out into the 
water, most loudly upward and forward, 
but with fairly sizable amplitudes in all di- 
rections around the body of the dolphin, 
The sounds emitted by these two sonic 
emitters are of a lower frequency region 
than those emitted by the third sonic emit- 
ter in the larynx. 

These sonic pulses can be controlled in 
their rate from one per minute up lo 1000 
per second. As an object approaches, the 
dolphin's pulsing rate goes up. If one 
holds a hydrophone in front of a dolphin 
and swings it back and forth to and from 
the dolphin, one can hear the pulsing rate 
climb as the hydrophone approaches and 
fall as the hydrophone moves away from 
the dolphin. 

This is the output side of their so-called 
sdnic navigation and ranging system. 
These short pulses go out through the wa- 
ter, are reflected by objects of interest, 
and come back to the ears of the dolphin 
underwater. While the dolphin is using this 
sonar system, one sees him moving his 
head horizontally, scanning the object 
with a tight beam. Using sonar the-dolphin 
has been shown to discriminate objects 
hidden from his eyes with exquisite fine- 
ness. At a distance of f 6 meters he can 
distinguish an aluminum disk two centi- 
meters thick from a copper disk of the 
same dimensions against a concrete wall 
under water 

The anatomy of the dolphin's ears 
shows that the equivalent of the human 
ear exists inside its head, The two bones 
containing the cochlea in the dolphin are 
as hard as glass. The cavities in these 
bones contain air. There are also cavities 
surrounding the bones, containing blood. 
fat. and a foam. 

Using air cavities, we constructed a 

Bottle-nosed dolphins communicate with each 
other by means ol three sonic-ultrasonic 
emitters, two ot which can be linked into a kind 
of stereo sound- The third emitter is used lor 
sonar detection. Dolphins' acoustic range is 
about ten times that ot humans' at both 
sending and receiving ends. This indicates a ■ 
communications capability thai is highly 
sophisticated- Computer technology enables 
scientists to transtorm "delphinese" into 
human language and vice versa. Lilly 
theorizes that because dolphins create 
sounds above water that resemble human 
speech, they are interested in communicating 
with people. 

model of the dolphin's ears. When this was 
placed on the ears of humans, we found 
humans could localize sounds under wa- 
ter. Extensive studies of both the human 
and dolphin thresholds for hearing at vari- 
ous frequencies show that the bottle- 
nosed dolphin detects and uses signals of 
approximately four and one half to ten 
times the frequencies that humans nor- 
mally use. 

Dolphins can hear the frequencies of 
human speech in the lower end of their de- 
tection spectrum. They also produce 
sounds in this region. However, they do 
this only in the presence of humans who 
speak above water. We discovered that 
dolphins will try to mimic and improve their 
copies of human speech in the presence 
of humans who speak to them loudly The 
dolphin's ability to use his communicative 
sound in man's presence is not unex- 
pected when his large brain is compared 
with that of the human. 

Through modern computer technology, 
it is possible to devise electronic ma- 
chines that can translate both for the hu- 
man and for the cetacean. One way 
involves making use of the fact thaf dol- 
phins have been found to be interested in 
communicating with humans; i.e., they are 
ready with the necessary agreement to 
work on the problems. They go to inordi- 
nate lengths to create sounds above wa- 
ter that resemble those of human speech. 
Using the narrow band of overlap between 
human sonic communication and dolphin 

sonic communication, dolphins do adap- 
tive. programming in attempts to establish 
this communication. Dedicated humans 
faced with dedicated dolphins can de- 
pend upon agreements for adaptive pro- 
gramming on each side. Both species are 
sufficiently adaptable to modify and form 
new replies and new demands extremely 

Dolphins understand demands and 
queries. With real-time methods involving 
no delay between a query and a response, 
each side learns very rapidly the limita- 
tions and the possibilities expressed by 
the other side. Thus, this method of 
dolphin/human communication calls for 
changing the frequencies of the human 
voice accurately into the frequency do- 
main of the dolphin's and, conversely, the 
transformation of the frequencies of the 
dolphin's voice down into the range of the 
human's. A doorway must be opened be- 
tween the human sonic box and the 
dolphin's sonic box. 

In the current research and develop- 
ment program of the Human/Dolphin 
Foundation, a computer has been pur- 
chased to carry out the initial investigation 
of sonic communication between man and 
dolphin. The program is called the JANUS 
project, and the apparatus is also called 
JANUS for Joint-Analog-Numerical- 
Understanding-System. JANUS has a dol- 
phin face for the dolphin end of the system 
and a human face for the human end of the 
system. The brain of JANUS is a computer 

with two sets of input and output for man 
and the dolphin. Sonic input to the dolphin 
is designed to be in the region of parame- 
ters most easily detected and discrimina- 
ted by the dolphin. This is the region of 
maximum frequency discrimination and of 
the lowest threshold for detection of 
sounds running from approximately 3000 
Hz (cycles per second) to 80,000 Hz (cy- 
cles per second). 

On the human side, the standard com- 
municative frequencies from 300-3000 
Hz (cycles per second) will be used. In ad- 
dition, the human end uses the standard 
computer keyboard and video display un- 
its as well as printers and other convenient 
devices. (Eventually, visual feedback to 
the dolphins will be incorporated with a 
cathode-ray tv underwater screen or its 
equivalent. The dolphin's visual input has 
been shown to be quite capable of analyz- 
ing visual symbols, so both the sonic and 
the visual can be interconnected in the 
dolphin communication experiments.) 

This route takes advantage of adaptive 
programming on each side by means of 
special "vocoders." Making such voco- 
ders is a straightforward technical design 
problem that can be solved given the 
proper financial support and properly 
trained engineers. 

In the proposed "interspecies vocoder," 
the human speech spectrum is divided 
into a number of independent frequency 
channels by means of filters (or their 
equivalent) computed by a microproces-, 
sor. On one side of the vocoder, each of 
the human sonic bands is analyzed by an- 
alog methods in real time and is multiplied 
by a factor of 4.5 to 10 into the dolphin's 
frequency band. On the other side of the 
vocoder, the machine does the inverse by 
analyzing each of the dolphin's frequency 
bands, which are analogically computed 
to the frequency band of humans. 

Such a device allows a human to speak 
to a dolphin underwater. The human could 
remain above water and the dolphin re- 
main under water; a dolphin would speak 
back to the huma^ in his natural under- 
water mode. Each side would use its ap- 
propriate frequency bands, and the elec- 
tronic device would translate one into the 
other. The air/water interface is thus 
broken — opening a door. The frequency 
barrier is also broken. Each individual in- 
volved is thus able to operate in the famil- 
iar regions of its existence, 

The number of bands required for un- 
derstandable human speech of high qual- 
ity, using a vocoder, has been found to be 
30. These devices are based upon the 
number of critical frequency bands in- 
volved in human speech and hearing. Dr. ■ 
C. Scott Johnson has shown that the num- 
ber of critical hearing bands for the dol- 
phin is about twice that of the human; i.e., 
the dolphin will require about 60 such 

Dr. W.A. Munson devised thefirstvoco- 
derfor dolphin/human communication. 
Dolphins expressed great interest in the 

use of this device, but the number of 
bands (ten)did not match either the hu- 
man critical number nor the dolphin criti- 
cal number. The vocoder method has the 
advantage ot operating in real time; i.e.. 
the dolphin and human can interact and 
correct one another rapidly. It is a rela- 
tively inexpensive method — the present 
estimations (1976) are that $100,000 
would be sufficient for the design and the 
construction ot the interspecies vocoder. 

Another method involves the use of 
modern, high-speed minicomputers and 
microprocessors. Recent breakthroughs 
with microprocessors that do the fast 
Fourier transform can simulate the above 
vocoder method.. With this technique, the 
analog vocoder is simulated by digital 
hardware. This approach has several ad- 
vantages over the analog vocoder. For ex- 
ample, one would be able to shift the criti- 
cal bands, both the number and position, 
in the two frequency spectra. The advan- 
tages of the flexibility of the software; i.e., 
the programming and its changes, would 
be sizable overthewired-in, fixed vocoder 
model, The cost of this approach is esti- 
mated to be £300,000. 

A third approach, which is farther in the 
future, would involve additional transfor- 
mations of what the dolphin sees with his 
sonar to human video, and vice versa, by 
means of a high-speed minicomputer. 

In this configuration, one visualizes an 
underwater, artificial sonar system that 
, scans the underwater environment in a 
way that mimics the dolphin's. An ultra- 
sonic transmitter emits pulses similar to 
those used by dolphins, picks up the 
echoes by means of an array of hydro- 
phones, and transfers them to the mini- 
computer for computation. The computa- 
tion in the microcomputer would be so de- 
signed that it would generate a three- 
dimensional television display in color for 
use by the humans. A human operator 
could thus see with his eyes under water 
the way the dolphin sees under waier with 

Such systems open operational door- 
ways between the species. Since each of 
the systems functions in real time, we are 
depending upon the adaptability of both 
the human and the dolphin to solve the 
problem of constructing a suitable inter- 
species language somewhere between 
delphinese and the human languages. 
The construction/use o! this new interspe- 
cies language will probably take a fairly 
long time of dedicated daily use, at the 
least several months, at the most, many 

Such technical proposals are now feasi- 
ble. All that is required is sufficient time, 
energy, money, and interest on the part of 
the human species to carry them out. The 
only barrier in our way is our belief- 
disbelief systems about the intelligence 
and language capabilities of cetaceans. I 
feel very strongly that the reward to the hu- 
man species of such a program will be 
very great — beyond anything that I or any- 






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6 In my zeal to demonstrate 

psychic phenomena, I committed the 

one unpardonable sin in science. 9 


The experiment looked so easy; 
except for one factor. 



Standing alone on the podium, in the 
glare of the camera lights, the old man 
spoke wearily: 

"I have called this press conference to an- 
nounce my resignation from the American 
Psionic Institute." 

The audience of scientists and reporters 
buzzed excitedly. 

"As cofounder of this organization, I am re- 
luctant to leave it; but my continued presence 
here can only cast a cloud of doubt over honest 
men's work. For recently, in my zeal to demon- 
strate the existence of psychic phenomena, I 
committed the one un- 
pardonable sin in sci- 
ence: I deliberately 
manipulated an experi- 
ment to yield the de- 
sired results. 

"A few weeks ago, I 
implanted in the brains 
of rats electrodes that, 
when energized by a 
random-number gen- 
erator, produce highly 
pleasurable sensations 
in the animals. My ob- 
jective: to see if the rats 
could through telekine- 
sis — mind over matter — 
influence the generator 
to give more than the expected, chance num- 
ber of stimulations. 

"I reported almost immediate success — 
clear evidence of psychic ability! But then , . . 
then some of my colleagues, puzzled by the 
excessive attention I was paying to my appa- 
ratus, watched, concealed, as I manipulated 
the equipment to deliver additional stimula- 
tions to the rats." 

The old man sighed. 

"Why did I cheat? I don't know, In fact, until 
my colleagues contronted me with the evi- 
dence. I was barely aware of my actions. 

"Perhaps after a lifetime of honest research 
with, at best, ambiguous results to show for it, 1 
subconsciously decided to help the experi- 
ment along just a little, in order to encourage 
my colleagues and to impress the skeptics. 

"In any case, I'm sorry for the embarrass- 
ment I've saused the institute. And now I shall 

entrust my work to abler, more trustworthy 
men. In particular, I'm gratified that Dr. John 
Cole has promised to continue my research 
with ihe random stimulator. 

"Good luck, John. I know you won't lose con- 
trol as I did." 

Alone in the laboratory, strapped down in a 
cage, the rats squealed in ecstasy as the ma- 
chine directed repeated stimulations through 
the electrodes implanted in their brains. 
More! the rats' minds shouted. More! More! 
But the machine ignored their demands; it 
continued to grant the creatures brief mo- 
ments in paradise ac- 
cording to its own me- 
chanical caprice. 

Then the rats tensed. 
The man! The man was 

Seconds later. Dr. 
Cole unlocked the door 
to the laboratory and 
entered. Walking overto 
the experimental appa- 
ratus, he inspected Ihe 
electronic counter 
hopefully. He was dis- 
appointed to see that in 
Ihe past hour the rats 
had received no stimu- 
lations beyond chance 
expectation. Good thing he was on board- 
Peering into the cage at the tiny creatures. 
he sighed. "Do something, you deadbeats! Do 
At that moment, the rats concentrated mightily. 
From their minds, at the speed of thought. 
sprang tendrils of mental energy. Reaching 
deep into the recesses of Cole's mind, the ten- 
drils touched, probed, twisted. 
More! the rats' minds shouted. Morel More! 
Unconsciously, Cole turned a dial on the 
random-number generator. The stimulations 
were no longer random; they came faster and 

Even in their heightened ecstasy the rats 

sensed that this man was not the same one they 

had . , . touched . . . earlier. But still, he was a 

man, not a machine, and could be manipulated. 

They squealed in delight, 

They were in control again. OO 





In this excerpt Lifeficte, and partly jetsam, aban- 

from his new book, Britain's f ned 
celebrated biologist th 

paranormal phenon 

with any of Ihis salvage, it would be 

well to bear in mind Jung's r' — 


in a position to make reasoned judgments 
about the general process ot evolution that 
has led to our present strange, subdivided 

I suggest that what we have in the field of 
paranormal phenomena are vivid and 
sometimes meaningful indicators of the 
true state of our psyche. The different phys- 
ical realities of raps on tables, bent keys, 
flying saucers, and wandering yetis are in 
themselves purely incidental symbols, 
which may sometimes coincide in disturb- 
ing ways, but which bear no recognizable 
causal relationship to one another, We must 
' not expect scattered occurrences, stray 
scraps of information, to carry any informa- 
tion of consequence. Each on its own says 
very little, and any attempt to wring an an- 
swer from isolated experience, or to mas- 
sage meaning out of laboratory statistics, is 
doomed to failure. 

I believe there may be an almost basic 
cosmic rhythm, which probably underlies 
all coincidence, chance, seriality, and syn- 
chronicity. I believe we will eventually suc- 
ceed in laying this ghost in our machine 
and give it all the physical properties and 
parameters necessary for its establishment 
as a recognized force of nature. When this 
is accomplished, I feel certain that it will be 
the source of much that we now regard as 

There are human vampires. Not only in 
Transylvanian nightmares, but in the per- 
son of everyone of woman born. 

For the first nine months of our lives, we 
exist in what one textbook defines as a 
"parabiotic union between two different or- 
ganisms in which not only is there intimate 
commingling of tissue cells of dissimilar 
genetic makeup, but also a chronic, covert 
exchange of blood." A rather long-winded 
way of saying 'pregnancy,' but one which 
effectively stresses the strange nature of 
the mother-fetus relationship. By all stan- 
dards, the embryo is a foreign substance 
and ought to be rejected by the mother's 
immune system. She is, after all, a verte- 
brate with a fully functional antibody mech- 
anism that is specifically designed to dis- 
criminate 'me' from 'not-me.' But, in some 
still mysterious way, nature successfully vi- 
olates all the laws of transplantation, hold- 
ing them in astonishing abeyance for the 
270-odd days we all spend as parasites in 
the bodies of our maternal host. 

Jan Ehrenwald of the Roosevelt Hospital 
in New York calls pregnancy "the cradle of 
_ ESR" He suggests that the intimate physi- 
1 ological association of mother and fetus 
5. might extend into psychological areas, al- 
f lowing their egos to merge in a way that 
a bridges the usual gap between individuals. 
I It could be significant that the uterine 
f conditions are almost perfect for hypnotic 
1 induction. Temperature and light are virtu- 
& ally constant; the fetus floats at ease in the 
| amniotic fluid", free to drift as it will; and the 
I loudest sound around is the regular, me- 
% tronomic thud of the maternal heart. Disso- 
£ ciation is almost inevitable and, if the little 
114 OMNI 

we have learned about conditions condu- 
cive to unusual perception is Irue, telepa- 
thy is more likely. to occur in this situation 
than at any other time in life. 

There is almost no limit to the fertility of 
this symbiotic theory. Right away it begins 
to make sense of the childlike and irrational 
qualities of so many paranormal phenom- 
ena. Most mediumistic communications 
are repetitive and seem often to be almost 
simpleminded. Psychoanalytical I y they 
would be classed as regressive, which is 
exactly what can be expected if we are 
dealing with something that has its roots in 
infancy. It explains why so many so-called 
extrasensory perceptions are of a precon- 
ceptual, preverbal nature, and therefore al- 
most impossible to describe. It certainly 
accounts for the fact that spontaneous 
adult telepathic experiences occur most 
often between mothers and young chil- 
dren, And it becomes easier, with the help 
of this model, to understand why all psy- 
chic experience is much more common in 

£ Pregnancy may be the 

"cradle of ESP," an intimate 

physical association 

of mother and fetus that could 

extend into psychological 

areas, merging their egos in 

a way that bridges the 

usual gap between individuals.^ 

young children, who have not yet reached 
the slage of sharply delineating their own 
ego boundaries. 

If a growing child, by progressively de- 
fining the edges of his own ego, smothers 
the possibility of telepathic communication 
then it is also possible that those individu- 
als who fail to establish independent egos 
may remain vulnerable to continued tele- 
pathic intrusions. Most auditory hallucina- 
tions are sensed as coming from multiple 
voices, and when they say anything intelli- 
gible, the comments are usually anony- 
mous and expressed in the second or third 
person. They are always sensed as sepa- 
rate from the self and out of the listener's 
control. There certainly is an embarrass- 
ing similarity between the paranoid 
schizophrenic's delusions of persecution, 
his conviction that others can influence his 
thoughts from a distance, and the theories 
of those, like myself, who believe it is possi- 
ble for there to be contact between minds 
without any normal physical agency. Per- 
haps schizophrenics really do hear voices. 
They are definitely selectively attuned to 
subliminal, repressed hostility in other peo- 
■ple, but maybe there is more to it than that. 

There may be such a thing as 'psi pollution' 
for those with imperfect ego defenses. 

Every culture has at some time devised a 
way of circumventing the cerebral censor 
and communicating directly with the un- 
conscious, usually by pretending that the 
information isioming from somewhere 
else, most often through some kind of 
scapegoat. In Tanzania, the Safwa blame a 
special chair, which stands still or shakes in 
response to questions from a sitter. The 
Nyoro people of Uganda use a length of 
wood, something like a spear shaft, called 
a segero. This is moistened, usually with 
the blood of a freshly slaughtered goat (the 
unconscious thrives on that sort of vivid im- 
agery), and the questioner grasps the shaft 
with his finger and thumb, running them up 
and down, The point where they stick indi- 
cates the oracle's answer. Among the 
Zande of the Upper Nile, the preferred 
technique is the iwa, or rubbing board, 
which is maneuvered over the flat surface 
of a special table, answering questions ac- 
cording to whether it slides or sticks. 

In Europe and the United States in the 
mid-1 91h century, turning tables was practi- 
cally epidemic. Spirits were soon held to be 
responsible and codes were devised to 
communicate with them. Then, as interest 
in table lipping waned, the planchette 
came into its own. This was a miniature 
table, just 1 5 centimeters long and shaped 
like a heart on wheels, with a pencil fas- 
tened to it so that answers could be written 
down directly. And in 1 892, a cabinetmaker 
in Baltimore patented a lettered board rn- 
corporating a small planchettelike indica- 
tor, under a process identified by the com- 
bined French and German affirmatives as 
oui-ja. He made a fortune. 

Given these freedoms to express itself 
anonymously, the unconscious fairly bab- 
bles away. In St. Louis in 1913, one particu- 
lar ouija board began an extraordinary 
monologue that only ended twenty-five 
years and 4,000,000 words later when its 
operator, a housewife called Pearl Curran, 
died. Proverbs, poems,- and stories poured 
out of the board in biweekly sessions, pick- 
ing up the thread each time just where the 
last effort ended, as though there had been 
no interruption, Each of the communica- 
tions was signed with the name of Patience 
Worth, who was, by the ouija board's own 
admission, beginning her literary career al- 
most three centuries after her death at the 
hands of hostile Indians, soon afier arriving 
in the New World from her home in England. 
The contenl is slightly cloying, in the style 
that Reader's Digest likes to describe as 
'inspirational,' but it is extraordinarily con- 

There is no evidence that a Patience 
Worth ever exisied, and suspicion must fall 
heavily on Pearl Curran, who found, after 
some years, that she was able to call out 
the words faster than the board could spell 
them, Later she graduated to transcribing 
directly onto a typewriter, finishing one 
novel set in medieval England in just 35 
hours. But the psychic researcher Walter- 




By Stuart Diamond 

I ^% | e are standing inside the tur- 
I bine-building at the Millstone 
•» *» nuclear reactor, on the Con- 
necticut shore at Long Island Sound. The 
room is enormous, the noise is deafening, 
the temperature is more than 1 00 de- 
grees Fahrenheit. We are surrounded by 
a mass of equipment almost grotesque in 
size — pipes four feet across, pumps 15 
feet high, bolts the size of fists, and hori- 
zontal, oblong heating units that are 50 
feet long and look like large iron lungs. 
Steam, water, air, hydrogen, and oil are 
careering through the pipes. Above, a 
turbine whines. It sounds like a jet plane. 
: Off to one side, a sign on a locked door 
says, "Radiation area — do not enter un- 
less authorized. " Anolher door says 
"Danger — high voltage." 

The scene is part of a tour, open to the 
public, of the Millstone reactor complex, 
which supplies powerto 1. 5 million people 
n Connecticut'. It is similar to tours at 
many of the 71 commercial nuclear 
power plants licensed to operate in this 

Just seeing a reactor complex from the 
oulside can be a jarring experience. At 
Indian Point, New York, about 30 miles 
north of New York City, you drive along a 
tree-lined country road, and suddenly, 
three large concrete domes emerge in a 
clearing along the Hudson River. You 
hear the whirr of machinery and see 
steam rising. At other locations, the reac- 
tor is covered by a steel or concrete 
building so that the complex looks like 
•arge, windowless warehouses or build- 
ing block's for giant children. 

Security is tight at nuclear reactors to- 
day, largely because of new federal regu- 
lations enacted this pasl January after 
studies had concluded security was too 
(ax in regard to potential sabotage. Now, 
time-consuming searches and identifica- 
tion procedures are required for tourists. 
This has led a number of utilities to cancel 
reactor tours altogether. "It just became 
too much aggravation," said an official at 
one utility. 

Many power companies have taken an- 
other tack, providing lours of just nonra- 
dioactive parts of the reactor complex, 

such as the turbine building and the con- 
trol room. For most utility officials think the 
new regulations will make the public 
more wary of reactors: If you can't see it, 
fhe theory goes, you're more likely to be 
afraid of it. The more limited tour gives 
you a sense of a nuclear reactor complex; 
the experience is still worthwhile. 

You enter the reactor complex through 
a security building staffed wiih armed, 
uniiormed guards. As in an airport, you 
waik through a metal detector. The 
guards then run 'a "sniffer" around your 
body: It looks like a hand-held electric 
egg-beater and emits a siren if it detects 
anything that could be a component of an 
explosive. Musk oil, residual cleaning 
fluid on clothes, gasoline fumes on the' 
clothes of fuel truck drivers, and even 
deodorant have been known to set off 
the sniffer. After the search, you put on 
your hard hat and step into the reactor 

Around the reactor complex, you see 
the trappings of the security network: 

fences lopped with barbed wire and, in 
some cases, equipped with alarms 
that go off when you touch the barrier; 
b.uildihg-top tv cameras that continuously 
survey the site; antennas that link the 
buildings by radio. Guards continually 

A number of structures are scattered 
over the site, which is usually a few hun- 
dred acres. The reactor building houses 
the reactor and fuel-handling equipment: 
a turbine building contains the turbine, 
generator, condenser, most of the piping, 
the control room, and administrative of- 
fices; a radioactive-waste buhding con- 
tains highly radioactive spent fuel and the 
not-sp- radioactive clothing, rags, and 
other material contaminated in the normal 
course of operation. There are also ware- 
houses for eguipment and machinery; a 
pump building that draws in and expels 
cooling water from the nearby natural 
source; perhaps a cooling tower; tanks 
for emergency cooling water, hydrogen to 
eool the generator, and oil to lubricate 


The 1 .13 billion watt Trojan nuclear power plant near the Columbia River at Rainier, Oregon. 

generator and turbine bearings; a trans- 
former yard; radiation monitors; a tall 
stack to emit gases with trace amounts of 
radiation; a large stee! trame to support 
a crane; and high-tension wires leaving 
the site. 

The electricity in the high-tension wires 
emits a continuous popping noise that is 
most pronounced when the air is damp. 
When the weather is particularly dry, the 
electricity can make the hair on your back 
stand on end as you walk under the wires. 

On most tours, you first are taken to the 
control room, where you observe opera- 
tors from a glassed-in gallery. The well- 
lighted room has about 1 3 meters of light- 
green metal instrument panels with hun- 
dreds of levers, dials, and lights. Red 
lights indicate that equipment is on or 
valves are open. Green lights indicate 
the opposite. 

The panel is usually In the shape of an 
L and lines two walls. Against a wall near 
the center of the panel is a lighted board 
that shows the location of fuel rods and 
control rods in the core. The lights are red 
and yellow, the board looks like a game of 
' Chinese checkers. Rods are coded so 
they can be quickly located when there is 

Above the instrument panel are hun- 
dreds of small white plastic squares, and 
each lists a particular reactor component 
or system. When something is wrong, a 
square will flash white or red, depending 
on the severity, and a loud buzz sounds. 
"RCP1 " means reactor coolant pump 1 . 
"East pent rm inside El 38.5" means the 
inside door to a penetration room- 
between the reactor building and an aux- 
iliary structure — has been opened re- 
cently. It is 38.5 feet (1 2.5 meters) above 
sea level. These indicators together are 
called the "enunciator system" and are 

divided among the various reactor pro- 
cesses, such as turbine, feedwater, 
auxiliary, radiation monitoring, and 
reactor control. 

The safety system is designed to auto- 
matically shut down the reactor any time 
there is a more than routine problem in 
operation. A pump failure, low steam 
level, too much water in the moisture re- 
mover, high pressure, low pressure, and 
dozens of other occurrences will-auto- 
matically shove the control rods into the 
fuel core. It takes 1 2 to 24 hours to bring 
the reactor up again and costs an esti- 
mated $300,000 per day— in time and 
in the oil or gas that must be used in- 
stead for power. In some cases, an 
operator has 5 to 8 seconds to spot the 
failure and perhaps correct it manually 

The turbine and gc;n?r,:i!c; o: Ine Troian complex jhijot^j Hear! o: the nuclear reactor (below). 

before the automatic shutdown. All 
sucTTshutdowns must be reported, 
along with a lengthy explanation, to the 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 

As one walks down the hallways, doors 
to various other sections of the plant pro- 
claim "radiation control area." Guards 
man the openings, or the doors are 
locked. Peering inside, it is impossible to 
distinguish these areas from the nonra- 
diation areas. They all have that clean, 
stark, concrete look, with snaking wires or 
heavy machinery evident. Workers who 
enter these areas often have to wear pro- 
tective clothing that is discarded when 
they leave. 

Throughout many plants are yellow 
signs proclaiming "evacuation route," 
with black arrows indicating direction. 
Occasionally, 220-liter drums with con- 
taminated low-level radioactive waste sit 
in a prescribed location in the shadow of 
a building. 

In many plants, different pieces of 
machinery are painted different colors for 
aesthetics and for easy identification. In 
the Connecticut Yankee reactor in Had- 
dam Neck, equipment is painted gray, 
blue, and green. The floor is red, the 
stairs are yellow, the turbine and genera- 
tor are light blue, and the railings are 
cream-colored. The area Is quite neat, 
and if you ignore the noise, it almost 
seems like a showroom for industrial ma- 

The massiveness of the equipment is 
the most striking. Next to the turbine/ 
generator at the Millstone complex is a 
typical highway trailer used for shipping 
goods. It looks like a toy model by com- 
parison. Nearby, a fire extinguisher 1 ,5 
meters high and 1.7 meters long has tires 
as large as those on some compact cars. 
One marvels at the fact that this is the 
culmination of a hundred years of engi- 
neering in elecfricity generation. 

As you leave the reactor complex, you 
go back through the security building 
and step into a device similar to the metal 
detector you walked through on the way 
in. This device, however, scans your body 
to see if you accidently received any radi- 
ation In the plant. You stand there for a 
few seconds, until the scan is completed. 
Everyone contains radioactive potassium 
in their bodies, just as radiation is present 
in rocks, in watch dials, and in sunlight. If 
the device finds you don't have more than 
the amount you usually carry around, a 
green light flashes. 

The current move away from tours 
of reaclor plants has spawned "energy 
education centers" at nuclear reactors. 
Located outside the security fence, these 
centers are filled with displays of reactors 
, and with models of various types of 
power generation and energy conserva- 
tion. Films are often shown, and various 
exhibits Invite visitor participation or play. 
The centers are particularly attractive to 
children; some attract 50,000 school stu- 
dents per year. 

Most of the centers have graphic and 
colorful wall displays with moving lights 
thai show how a reactor works. The vari- 
ous cooling fluids, componenls, and sys- 
tems are in different colors, making the 
concepts clear even to junior high school 
children. The differences and similarities 
between nuclear and fossil plants are 

There are usually machines lhat pose 
questions about energy. You press a but- 
ton for the answer. Some have Geiger 
counters that click when a weak radiation 

lurce is placed near them. A few cen- 
ters have windmills arid solar collectors. 


The major problem with exhibition cen- 
ters is that they really do not give a visitor 
the same feeling one would get from a re- 
actor tour. Also, some of the exhibits are 
rather hokey: mechanical arms that chal- 
lenge you to put fake fuel pellets in little 
Mot© — a sort of scientific penny arcade. 

>, the darker side of nuclear 
reactors — potential safety problems and 

nuclear wastes — is not really dealt with. 

Perhaps the most open reactor in the 
country is the Trojan plant on the Colum- 
bia River near Rainier, Oregon. A domed 
reactor with a 1 60-meter tall cooling 
tower and a spacious energy education 
center attracts f 50,000 visitors each 
year, An electric bus shuttles. visitors 
around the complex. Tour guides take vis- 
itors-through the turbine building and 
other nonradioactive areas. Unlike most 
other reactor sites that receive visitors, no 
advance reservations or special arrange- 
ments are needed for tours. Usually, how- 
ever, you should call in advance to find 
the hours and the arrangements neces- 
sary for tours. There is no admission 
charge, and the centers hand out avari- 
ety of brochures. 

Almost all plants allow the public on at 
least some part of the property, even if it 
is only a waterfront park. In Plymouth, 
Massachusetts, for example, you can't 
tour the reactor, but you can picnic on 
Cape Cod Bay, watch the fishing 
trawlers on one side, and get a look 
at Boston Edison's giant, square 

concrete reactor complex on the other. 

One of the best tours around used to 
be that of the Dresden 1 nuclear reactor 
about 50 miles from Chicago-. The domed 
reactor was the first privately owned com- 
mercial nuclear plant in the country, It 
started operating in 1 961 . Until the new 
federal regulations necessitated cancel- 
ing the tour, officials of Commonwealth 
Edison used to take visitors on the floor of 
the reactor building above the reactor 
vessel. You wore a dosimeter to measure 
any radiation you received. You heard a 
Geiger counter clicking at the entrance. 

On one side of the room you could see 
a spent fuel pool, a brilliant-blue pool of 
water that contained the highly radio- 
active spent fuel elements. The water 
gets its spectacular color from the radia- 
tion of the Cobalt-60. The water shields 
observers from radiation and helps dissi- 
pate the radiation: The more highly radio- 
active spent tuel elements — those that 
came from the reactor more recently — 
are brighter blue. You could see the up- 
right fuel assemblies 6.5 meters down. It 
was worth the trip, all by itself. DO 






Joseph M Farley 1 (Hou^'on Conn 

y) None operable 

Cooper (Brownville) 

None operable 

Browns Ferry 1 (Decatur) 

Fort Calhoun t (Fort Calhoun) 

Browns'Ferry 2 (Decatur] 



Browns Ferry 3 (Decatur) 


Duane Arnold (Cedar Rapids) 

H.B. Robinson 2 (HartsvTIle) 


Oconee 1 (LakeKeowee) 


Oconee 2 (Lake Kebwee) 

None operable 

None operable 


Oconee 3 (Lake Keowee) 


Oyster CreeK (Toms River) 



Salem 1 (Salem) 

Arkansas Nuclear One— 1 (Russellville) 

None operable 

None operable 




Humbaldl Bay (Humboldt Bay) 


Rar^hr e 

Indian Point 2 (Buchanan) 


San Qnalre 1 (San Clemente] 

Maine Yankee (Wise as set) 

Indian Point 3 (Buchanan) 

Nine Mile- Point 1 (Oswego.) 




James A. FitzPatrick (Scriba) 

Robert E. Ginna (Rochester) 

Vermoni Yankee (Vernon) 

Fort St. Vrain (PlattevlHe) 

Calvert Cliffs 1 (Lusby) 

Calvert Ctiils 2 (Lusby) 





Brunswick 1 (Sduthport) 

Norlh Anna t (Mineral) 

Conrie client Yankee (Haddam Neck] 

Brunswick 2 (Soulhpo'l) 

Surry 1 (Gravel Neck) 

Millstone 1 (Watertord) 

Pilgrim 1 (Plymouth) 

Surry 2 (Gravel Neck) 

Millstone 2 (Waterford} 

Yankee (Rows) 





Davis-Besse t (Oak Harbor) 

Hanlord—N (Richland) 

Crystal Riuei 3 (Hod Le^cli 

Big Rock Poirtl (Big Rock Point) 


St Lucie l (S: i_ucie Cixmiy) 

Palisades (South Haven) 


Turkey Pair" a ( lurkav Po.rri 

Donald- C. Cook 1 (Bridgman) 

None operable 

Turkey Point 4 (Turkey Point) 

Donald C. Cook 2 (Bridgman) 

LaCrosse (Genoa) 


Point Beach 1 (Two Creeks) 



Point Beach 2 (Two Creeks) 

Trojan (Rainier) 

kc ■/■/ :■,!!■ si-i {Canto" Township) 

Edwin I. Hatch 1 (Baxley) 

Monticelln (Manncello) 

Edwin I. Hatch 2 (Baxley) 

Prairia Island! (Red Wing) 

Prsiri l 5i;-,l;..iii:1.y;! : (0."i , )Vi-.'j) 




'3rnpph;;;r_.;:ri i'Sfi--pr-. -ji-'-Oi ■':■ 

None operable 


Beavei v in ■ ■■ rt; 

Dresden i (Morris) 

]:■<(:(.' Miie island 1 (Londonderry) 

'Almost universally. r:ur.l"ar i;,-mp: 

Dresden 2 (Morris) 

None operable 

Tnree Mile Island 2 (Londonderry) 

piar.is m ?;,-,_-.',■>; e public interest arid 

Dresden 3 (Morris) 

Peach Bottom 2 (Peach Bottom) 

cio-jiiJi! .jxnioffs ,'0 !■••:,■. o< public 

Zion 1 (Zion) 


Peach Bottom 3 (Peach Bottom) 

Zion 2 (Zion) 

Quad Csnes 1 (Coiooua) 

None operable 

Quad Cities 2 (Cordova) 



Prince, after a year spent observing the sit- 
uation, concluded that it was impossible tor 
awoman other limited interests, education, 
and resources to have written even a small 
part oi the avalanche of words and whimsy. 
"Either," he said, "our concept of what we 
call the subconscious must be radically al- 
tered, so as to include potencies oi which 
we hitherto have had no knowledge, or 
else some cause operating through, but 
not originating in, the mind of Mrs, Curran 
must be acknowledged." 

Now, a half century later, we know a little 
more about the capacity of the uncon- 
scious, which seems to be limitless. We 
also know that it is possible for the uncon- 
scious to be in some way directly aware of 
what is happening to other people beyond 
the reach of the senses. 

Charles Tart has shown that when sub- 
jects ate asked to guess when afriend in a 
distant room is receiving a random but 
painful electric shock, their conscious re- 
sponse is totally inaccurate. But, if they are 
monitored for unconscious physiological 
response, their electroencephalograph^ 
patterns show that at the precise instant of 
each shock, they react as though they 
themselves were receiving a mild shock. 
Knowing this, and knowing something of 
the creative skill exercised by the uncon- 
scious in constructing internally consistent 
personalities, I see no major difficulties in 
the assumption that Pearl Curran could 
have been Patience Worth. 

In December 1963, Jane Roberts and 
her husband sat down in their apartment in 
Elmira, New York, to experiment with a ouija 
board for the very first time. In the initial two 
sessions little happened, but in the third 
they began to get highly articulate answers 
to their questions. Almost immediately 
Jane realized that she was receiving this in- 
formation in her head and could easily vo- 
calize it without the use of the board. So be- 
gan her communication with a personality 
that called itself Seth and that has now dic- 
tated over 5000 pages of didactic informa- 
tion, organized into informal lectures on 
subjects such as health, dreams, astral 
projection, reincarnation, and analytical 

The presentation of all this material is lu- 
cid and highly individualistic, embodying a 
wide knowledge of esoteric teachings to 
which Jane seems to have had no normal 
access. Eugene Barnard of North Carolina 
State University explored Seth's character 
in sessions with Jane when she seemed to 
be speaking for Seth and concluded that 
he had been in conversation "with a per- 
sonality or intelligence or what have you, 
whose wit, intellect, and reservoir of knowl- 
edge far exceeded my own. ... In any 
sense in which a psychologist of the West- 
ern scientific tradition would understand 
the phrase, I do not believe that Jane 
Roberts and Seth are the same person, or 

the same personality, or different facets of 
the same personality." 

I wish I could be that certain. I have a 
sneaking feeling that all the way through ar- 
guments of this kind we persistently under- 
estimate the capacity and the connected- 
ness of the unconscious. We keep on mak- 
ing limited either/or judgments about 
things. Either, we insist, the material comes 
directly from Pearl Curran and Jane Rob- 
erts, or Patience Worth and Seth are ex- 
actly what they claim to be— spirits from the 
dead. Their control of the two mediums in 
these cases is only temporary, but I see no 
reason why Patience and Seth should not 
be regarded in the same light as alter per- 
sonalities in a multiple personality situation. 

In a session once with the celebrated 
medium Eileen Garrett, a psychologist 
brought Uvani, her spirit control, into a state 
of confusion simply by asking what he had 
been doing since their last session. It 
seems clear that many alternative charac- 
ters and spirit guides are created for roles 

6 All we have to work 

with is what seeps past the 

barrier, what little 

the unconscious, 

' in unguarded moments, lets 

slip . . . I think the 
evidence favors spontaneous 
telepathic reception.^ 

that last only as long as they are on stage. 
Only when they take over completely and 
abolish the primary personality altogether 
can one begin to talk about possession. 
And if they persist, and become perma- 
nent, showing all manner of inappropriate 
behavior, can one begin to think in terms of 
possible reincarnation. 

Ian Stevenson of the Universiiy of Virginia 
has done everything in his power to make 
the problem of reincarnation scientifically 
respectable. And now at last, after 1 5 years 
of intensive, almost single-handed, effort, 
he seems to be gaining some ground. The 
prestigious Journal of Nervous and Menial 
Disease devoted its entire issue of Sep- 
tember 1977 to his work. 

Stevenson defines reincarnation as the 
survival and subsequent reembodiment of 
the human personality after death and 
points out that personality consists of more 
than isolated bits of information. To make a 
personality, the information has to be or- 
ganized into particular skills. He uses Mi- 
chael Polanyi's distinction between cogni- 
tive knowledge, which is knowing about 
something, and tacit skill, which is know- 
ing how to do something. Stevenson ar- 

gues that we may know all the facts about 
a skill but can never learn to use it without 
actual practice.Therefore skills suchas 
dancing, or riding a bicycle, or speaking a 
foreign language, are essentially incom- 
municable and cannot be passed, without 
actual physical practice, from one person 
to another by any normal means. So his 
major research effort is devoted to the dis- 
covery of individuals who seem to have 
acquired such skills spontaneously. 

Stevenson's painstaking researches 
have established more than 1600 cases 
that he describes as "suggestive of rein- 
carnation." Most are naturally from the In- 
dian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and 
the Middle East, where belief in reincarna- 
tion is strongest. A typical case of this type 
begins when a small child, usually be- 
tween the ages of two and four, begins to 
remember living another life. Its state- 
ments about this life usually harmonize 
with its behavior in the sense that, if It 
claims to have been a wealthy person, it is 
likely to refuse to do menial work, no mat- 
ter how poor its present family may be. 
The child often asks to be taken to places 
it remembers, and if these can be identi- 
fied and the journey is made, it is usually 
found to have been correct in about 90 
percent of its statements aboutthe life and 
surroundings of the person it claims to re- 
member. After five years of age, memories 
of the past life seem to fade and usually 
vanish altogether, along with the unusual 
behavior prompted by them. 

A few of these cases satisfy the criteria 
(or reincarnation in that the subjects do in- 
deed possess not only knowledge but 
also special and relevant skills. A young 
Bengali girl produced elaborate songs 
and dances; an Indian boy began very 
early to play the classical drums or tablas 
with great skill; and another child showed 
unusual expertise with marine engines. In 
two cases, Stevenson even found what he 
calls "responsive xenoglossy," an ability to 
speak and respond to an apparently un- 
learned language. It is tempting to as- 
sume that the accomplishments of all in- 
fant prodigies could be explained in this 
way. Wolfgang Mozart began composing 
at the age of four; Johann Gauss was cor- 
recting his father's mathematics before he 
was three; John Stuart Mill and Baron Mac- 
auley started writing almost before they 
could walk. All may have been reincarna- 
tions. "Unfortunately," admits Stevenson, 
"to the best of my knowledge, no Western 
child prodigy has ever claimed to remem- 
ber a previous life." 

He does, however, go on to suggest that 
the idea of reincarnation could have "con- 
siderable explanatory value for several fea- . 
tures of human personality and biology that 
currently accepted theories do not ade- 
quately clarify." Among these he included 
childhood sexuality, the origin of homosex- 
uality, early interest in unusual subjects 
(Schliemann declared his intention of ex- 
cavating Troy before he was eight years 
old), rejection of parents, strange birth- ■ 

marks, the differences between otherwise 
identical twins, and even abnormal ap- 
petites during pregnancy. 

Stevenson himself admits that "all of the 
cases I have investigated so Jar have some 
flaws, many of them serious ones. Neither 
any single case nor all of the investigated 
cases together offer anything like a proof of 
reincarnation. They provide instead a body 
of evidence suggestive of reincarnation." 
And in dismissing the alternative explana- 
tion of some kind of assimilation through 
special sensitivity, he says, "To accommo- 
date authentic cases of the reincarnation 
type that are rich in detailed statements 
and in associated unusual behavior state- 
ments and in associated unusual behavior 
shown by the subject, with the hypothesis 
of super-extrasensory perception, requires 
the extension of that hypothesis so that it 
becomes no more credible than that of sur- 
vival after death," . 

I sympathize with his position, but I be- 
lieve that this conclusion is premature. The 
gap between the known capacity of the 
brain and the demonslrafion of unusual skill 
narrows with every new discovery in the life 
sciences. The existence of vast unlapped 
information in the genes: the pressure of al- 
ternative memories in the rival systems of 
every cell; and the growing appreciation of 
the powers inherent in the unconscious 
make it more, and more reasonable to as- 
sume that even a three-year-old child 
I could, given ihe right circumstances, in- 
herit or acquire, and then organize, an elab- 
orate second. personality. The very scarcity 
of those with unusual knowledge or skill 
tends, I suggest, to support this biological 
explanation rather than thai of reincarna- 
tion, which, given the sheer abundance of 
discarnate spirits that ought to be hanging 
around, queuing up for reembodiment. is 
astonishingly rare. I think that, on present 
evidence, the best conclusion is that of- 
fered by Stevenson as an intermediate po- 
sition. "Once considered about as well- 
defined asanorange-by its skin or a tree by 
its bark, human personalities now appear 
to be much more extensible and penetra- 
ble lhan they were thought to be. They can 
invade and be invaded by processes of ex- 
trasensory perception. They may even 
blend together in the manifestation of a dif- 
ferent personality that appears to be new, 
but that in fact may derive from a fusion of 
the new and the old." 

Time and time again, parapsychological 
research is drawn into a cul-de-sac with a 
wall at the end marked 'Death' and, in one 
corner, a convenient escape clause in the 
form of a ladder on which hangs a little sign 
that says, This Way for Survival Wfthoutthe 
Body.' Millions, perhaps even the majority 
of those now still alive Trithe world today, 
believe that survival is possible, and that a 
subsequent return in some form of reincar- 
nation is likely, They may be right. If they 
are, we have in this belief a ready-made an- 
swer to almost all the remaining problems 
posed by apparently psychic experiences. 
But I am suspicious of easy answers. 

Possession by discarnate spirits might 
be possible, but I don't know. I can't know. 
With our current knowledge, this concept is 
too complex to prove or disprove; it is too 
big a jump from what we know to what 
might or might not be. The most we can say 
now' with any certainty is that awareness, 
both conscious and unconscious, seems 
to be determined at least in part by pro- 
cesses that cannot be localized in the brain 
and 'might not be physical at all. 

In 1940 the 12-year-old son of a county 

sheriff in West Virginia was taken 192 kilo - 
metersto the Myers Memorial Hospital at 
Philippi for an operation. One dark, snowy 
night, about a week after his arrival, he 
heard a fluttering at the window of his hos- 
pital room. He called a nurse and told her 
there was a bird trying to get in. To humor 
the boy, she opened the window and a pi- 
geon came right in. He immediately recog- 
nized it as his personal pet He told the 
nurse to look for a ring on its leg carrying 

^Awareness .. . . isinpart 

determined by processes that 

might not be physical 

at ail. They may 

be sufficiently free of 

temporal constraints 

to operate beyond the limits 

of the body. 3 

the number 1 67. She did, and there it was. 
He was allowed to keep it in a box near his 
bed and when his parents came to visit a 
few days later, they confirmed that it was in- 
deed his bird, and had been seen around 
the house for several days after he was ad- 
mitted to the hospital. So it hadn't been 
brought with him, or simply followed the 
family car. The pigeon succeeded some- 
how in traveling 192 kilometers and locat- 
ing the correct window, in the right build- 
ing, in a strange town, at night, and in a 

Joseph Banks Rhine and his researchers 
at Duke University sifted through hundreds 
of cases of what they called 'psi-trailing' in 
animals, trying to obtain precise verifica- 
tion. The one that most impressed' them 
was that of a cream-colored Persian cat 
called Sugar who in 1951 seems to have 
trailed its owners across 2400 kilometers .of 
mountainous country between California 
and Oklahoma. The family intended to take 
the cat with them, but. it was afraid of cars 
and leaped from the window just as they 
were leaving Anderson at the northern end 
of the Sacramento Valley. They couldn't 
catch him again, but 14 months later Sugar 

suddenly turned up. leaping through the 
window of their new home in' Gage, Okla- 
homa. The cat had a deformity of the left hip 
that served as' positive identification, easily 
recognizable 1 by a veterinarian. Though 
how he crossed a desert, several canyons, 
and the entire width of the Rocky Mountains 
remains a mystery, 

An even bigger mystery is why he should 
have gone to all this trouble in the first 
place. Why did the pigeon risk death to find 
the boy? 

Our lack of scientific success in bringing 
paranormal phenomena to heef strongly 
suggests that these.obey different laws, 
and can't be approached on a causal ba- 
sis. So I am not going to set up the contin- 
gent system as a causal factor. I certainly 
don't think the answer is going to be that 
simple; but I do believe that the existence 
of an alternative adds significantlyto. [Ar- 
thur] Koestler's contention that we are in a 
state of essential tension between rival 
forces. This is the conflict I have called the 
Lifetide. And I emphasize again that the 
tidal metaphor is appropriate, because 
tides and waves are phenomena that have 
nothing directly to do with the water in 
which they become manifest. 

There is an important contradiction in the 
apparent ease with which anyone can learn 
to dowse or lo levitate a table, and the rarity 
with which such phenomena occur sponta- 
neously. This rarity may be only apparent in 
that we simply don't notice dozens of 
strange things that occur around us every 
day, bul even taking that possibility into ac- 
count, it nevertheless seems clear that our 
internal filter normally exerts a very power- 
ful two-way control. This suggests that 
paranormal events have limited survival 
value and a narrow field of applicability, 
which leaves us in the awkward position of 
having to make major' assessments on the 
basis of fragmentary evidence. What we 
can see is nothing like the tip of an iceberg, 
which does in fact offer an excellent idea of 
the composition of the resl, bul merely the 
debris lelt behind by a series of unsuccess- 
ful experiments. We have to operate like 
plastic surgeons faced with the task of res- 
urrecting a damaged face without a pho- 
tograph of the original to refer to. Perhaps 
the best analogy is that of the psychiatrist 
with a severely disturbed patient, who has 
to search for health in the evidence of 
pathology. All he has to work with is what 
the patient tells him. All we have to work 
with is what seeps past the barrier, what lit- 
tle the unconscious, lets slip. 

You can collect as many seawaier 
samplesas you like, but none will contain, 
nor tell you anything about, the tide. You 
can dissect as many living organisms as 
you can lay your hands on, breaking them 
down into their subatomic components, 
andstill find no answers. Life is a pattern, a 
movement, asyncopation of matter; some- 
thing produced in counterpoint to the 
rhythms of contingency; a rare and won- 
derfully unreasonable thing. QO 



Worse, the incidence is currently increas- 
ing at a horrendous rate. A few cases are 
due to certain peculiar "physical" lesions, 
but the vast majority are what is called 
"idiopathic" or "essential" hypertension, 
which means the cause is unknown. Some 
doctors feel that it is inherited or "genetic" 
(loosely translated, "good luck, buddy"). 
Others blame diet, salt, your job, your wife 
or husband, etc., etc., ad infinitum. 
' Afew researchers, particularly those 
into biofeedback, currently hold that an- 
ger Is a cause. They are close, but not 
close enough. One person came much 
closer, back in 1952. While studying the 
attitudes of patients with a variety of dis- 
eases at Mew York Hospital-Cornell Medi- 
cal Center, Dr. David T Graham found that 
those with hypertension "felt that they con- 
stantly had to be ready for anything." (The 
reference is: Psychosom Med 
14:243-251, 1952.) This was a genuine, 
gold-plated clue, though his work was put 
down, ignored, and largely forgotten . . . 
but in a few moments you will understand 
the significance of his finding. 

Remember, I called all diseases "be- 
haviors," in other words, things that peo- 
ple do, and hypothesized that if some- 
thing was wrong, then there was some- 
thing that the person was unhappy about. 
When I found a patient with elevated blood 
pressure (140/90 mm/Hg or more), I said 
to myself not "He has hypertension" but 
"He is hypertensioning." While doing a 
physical examination I would keep talking 
to the patient while regularly checking his 
blood pressure. I discovered I could make 
that pressure go up or down — not by what 
I was saying or asking, but by what I was 
making happen in the person's head. Nat- 
urally, I found patients with no anger who 
had high blood pressure and people with 
horrible jobs and nasty spouses who did 
not have high blood pressure. But the 
ones with high blood pressure did have 
what is called "anxiety." There, with a little 
conniving, is where I found an answer , . . 
not the only answer but one that works. 

Anxiety is a common term and one of the 
mainstays of psychiatric theory. It is de- 
fined as an emotion. It isn't. It is a com- 
pound of two things: an awareness of the 
existence of ambiguity and a depressive 
reaction to this awareness. More simply, it 
means that you don't know what's going to 
happen, and you are unhappy about this. 
And this is exactly what I consistently 
found in people with elevated blood 
pressure — that they did, indeed, have an 
incredible intolerance of ambiguity. I have 
described a person with high blood pres- 
sure as a person with his head in a neck 
brace — so„.he can't look up — who must 
walk through a forest on a narrow, winding 
path, and who knows that up in one of 
those trees there is a very large and very 
hungry boa constrictor waiting just for him. 

120 OMNI 

Do you get the picture? 

The awareness of ambiguity is not a bad 
and unpleasant thing but a good thing, a 
major survival mechanism. It is to be wel- 
comed as a warning sign saying, "Atten- 
tion! Be careful!" And we learn that with 
proper attention to this warning, great suc- 
cess will come our way in getting things 

For example, suppose you are driving 
the freeway. The traffic is heavy and you 
begin to feel jittery. You don't know what 
that turkey in the next lane is going to do. 
You have several choices. You can keep 
getting more nervous and/or angry. You 
can get off the freeway and pop a Valium 
or you can have a cocktail which will seem 
to resolve your problem but will not im- 
prove your chances of reaching your des- 
tination. Or you can drive carefully and 
watch everything around you like a hawk. 
(There are, of course times when a brief 
coffee stop or a rest or taking surface 
streets is a bright idea.) 

£ Anxiety is a common term, 

one of the mainstays of 

psychiatry. It is defined as an 

emotion, it isn't. It's a 

compound of two things: 

awareness of ambiguity 

and a depressive reaction to 

this awareness. 9 

We have looked carefully at the thinking 
behind high blood pressure and found 
that this thought pattern is not unique to 
the hypertensive person but common to 
ail people. The person with high blood 
pressure just does it more and better. Fur- 
ther, it means that the common garden va- 
riety of hypertension can be prevented — 
or can be treated while it is still "labile" 
(when pressure goes up under stress and 
down when the stress is over). We can 
continue now and list those things that I 
advise not only for the person with high 
blood pressure but for the treatment or 
prevention of any kind of problem. 

• Learn to quickly identify the onset of an- 
ger and depressive feelings in yourself. 

• Pick something you don't want to have 
happen to you — a heart attack, an ulcer, 
the removal of some organ— and when 
something happens that would normally 
make you become either angry or un- 
happy, ask yourself if giving in to these 
negative feelings is worth the disease 
price you'll have to pay. If the answer is 
yes, seek professional help, preferably 
from a therapist who is not depressed. 

• Discontinue any medications that are 

central nervous system depressants — 
this includes many of the drugs now so fre- 
quently prescribed. 

• Use alcohol only in trivial amounts: It's 
probably the worst brain depressant we 

• Start observing other people: their pos- 
tures, their choice of words and tones of 
voice, pitch, and stress. Study the reac- 
tions of others and try to guess what is go- 
ing on in their heads. And then watch your- 
self. A good item to start with is shoulder 
posture: down and forward is depressed, 
up and forward is hostile, up and back 
gives you the feeling that you are working 
toward the control of your own reality. Try 
these postures alternately and observe 
your own reactions and those of others to 
these postures. You'll be amazed. 

• Decide each morning that throughout 
the day whatever happens will not make 
you as angry or as unhappy as it would 
have the day before. 

• Get rid of the words "got to," "have to," 
"should," "must," "ought to," and that old 
favorite, "willpower." You can 7 do any- 
thing except what you want to do — so en- 
joy it. 

There are obviously many more guide- 
lines that I could list and undoubtedly 
many morel have not seen. But these are, 
at least, a start in the right direction. Be- 
lieve it or not, such behaviors help with the 
"real" medical problems; whether abnor- 
mal gastric acidity, elevated cholesterol, 
or a pimple on your nose is your particular 

And for the curious — what were the re- 
sults of this approach to hypertension in 
my practice? Previously uncontrolled pa- 
tients could be brought down to normal 
levels (below 140/90 mmHg) utilizing only 
thiazide diuretic medication, and thus 
avoiding the complex-acting and un- 
pleasant ganglionic blocking agents, 
many of which, by the way, have depress- 
ing effects. Many patients learned that 
their "early" hypertension could be eradi- 
cated. Typical of one of these was a per- 
son who for years had been found to have 
elevated blood pressure upon each con- 
sultation with a new doctor. And the blood 
pressure would fall with rest, reassurance 
from the new doctor, and the like. These 
patients, I believe, are the pool from which 
later fixed hypertensives are developed: 
other doctors claim that this entity is 
meaningless and no risk. I do not agree. 
Finally, as far as results, when I closed my 
practice I had no paralyzed patients lying 
in nursing homes waiting out the dreary 

It is my carefully considered opinion 
that negative states, particularly anger 
and depression, are critical components 
in the development of all the most com- 
mon medical and psychiatric problems 
we can get — and this includes cancer. 
And I do believe that by learning how our 
heads work and how to work our heads, 
we can all learn to live longer, healthier, 
and happier lives, DO 



one else can imagine. Alternatives lo hu- 
man language and communication with 
another species could be Ihe goals of a 
program lhat would capture human inter- 
est around the planet, interest of an inten- 
sity comparable to thai which we currently 
devote io human warfare. 

An entire industry can be initiated by 
those seeking new areas of investment: in 
a relatively short lime (two-ten years) a 
major breakthrough will be made in com- 
munication with dolphins/whales. With the 
proper approach in the technical and 
commercial spheres, relatively large re- 
turns could be realized on a relatively 
small capital investment within the next 
ten years. Through franchises, leasing ar- 
rangements and contracts, a satisfactory 
level of profit can be realized. 

The first persons to establish and use 
communication with the cetacea will be in 
a preferred position to market the informa- 
tion gained. The market includes commer- 
cial fisheries, the Navy, the entertainment 
industry (film/tape/records), marine in- 
dustries, oceanariums, computer manu- 
facturers, software companies, education 
businesses, and conservation groups. 
Specific areas of useful and profitable en- 
terprise are as follows; 

• Commercial Fisheries: The yellowfin 
'tuna industry needs means of communi- 
cation with dolphins to warn them of net- 
ting activities and to avoid the capture of 
dolphins in- their nets. Public pressure 
on the industry is at a high level to reduce 
or eliminate the capture and killing of 

Other commercial fisheries have prob- 
llems of net destruction by dolphins 
caught in their nets. With means of com- 
munication/warning aboard their vessels, 
such conflicts can be avoided. 

• The Navy. The activities of the Navy in 
the area of the use of dolphins/whales in 

[ the service of human warfare is well 
known. Mounting public opinion opposes 
this area of naval activity. The prestige of 
the Navy is being lowered by such public- 
ity and activities, 

With dolphin/whale communication, the 
Navy could initiate a new publicly ap- 
proved policy of significance: world-wide 
cooperative education of cetacea to avoid 
areas of human warfare. The knowledge 
gained from the cetacea would aid the 
Navy in their other tasks. The first Navy of 
the world to use such communication will 
possess, for a time, a strategic advan- 
tage. Eventually, however, such short-term 
advantages will disappear. 

• Entertainment Industries: The first cor- 
poration to open communication with ce- 
tacea will have the opportunity to market 
the results worldwide. With cooperative 
efforts from dolphins/whales, entirely new 
varieties of motion pictures, records, 
tapes, and tv shows- are possible. 

Dolphins and whales interacting with 
one another and in communication with 
human camera crews can do underwater 
ballets of dramatic and novel content. In- 
teracting with human swimmers in com- 
munication with them opens up new possi- 
bilities for the motion picture industry 
heretofore not imagined. 

The recording market (records/tapes) 
can be sold, new music/songs from the 
cetacea interacting with human musi- 
cians — each side teaching the other new 
forms of music. 

• Marine Industries: Offshore oil drilling 
industries operating in cooperation with 
communicating cetacea can control their 
operations in more detail. Small oil leaks 
can be detected by cetacea rapidly and 

The manufacturers and developers of 
sonar and underwater communication 
equipment can benefit from cetacean 
knowledge of natural sonar use. 

Cooperative underwater surveys with 
cetacea open up new areas of enterprise 
for those industries in marine geology and 
industrial exploitation of sea bottoms and 
structures Cetacean knowledge of map.- 
ping the oceans can be used by these in- 

Worldwide communication of ships/ 
yachts with dolphins/whales opens up 
new regions of navigation/rescue activi- 
ties heretofore unknown to man. 

• Computer manufacturers'. Once the 
communication breakthrough is made via 

special methods, manufacturers of the 
necessary equipment will have a ready 
market in the above-given uses of the 
equipment. Each of these industries will 
need special equipment for their specific 

The modern microprocessors and mini- 
computers designed for use in salt-air en- 
vironments is the basis for the break- 
through in communication with cetacea. 
The speed of these computers is currently 
enough to realize these objectives. 

• Education industries: The public should 
be kept up to date on current cetacean 
work through public educational chan- 
nels, including schools, colleges, univer- 
sities, and the public media. Marketable 
products — books, tapes, records/motion 
pictures — can be sold readily. 

• Conservation groups: Rather large 
groups of people (numbered in the mil- 
lions) have become interested in saving 
endangered species, especially whales 
and dolphins The passage of laws forbid- 
ding importation of industrial whale/ 
dolphin products has been facilitated by 
these groups in the U.S. and Britain. The 
Marine Mammals Protection Act of 1972 
was one result of such public pressure 

Communication with cetacea will give 
these groups their best argument for ces- 
sation of industrial use of whale and dol- 
phin products. Such public opinion will be 
advantageous to the new industries 
operating in cooperation with the dolphins 
and whales. DO 




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Severity-five years ago. on December 17, 1903, Orville Wright climbed into the 
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more than he deserved. 

They lurned the distant corner, walked 
almost the full length of the grounds, and 
finally reached a seldom used service en- 
trance. The guard there regarded all of 
them suspiciously before he unlocked the 

"In case you didn't know," the boy Lynar 
said good-naturedly as they started 
across the grounds, "we don't need exer- 
cise. We've been walking for two days and 

"So have I," Connager told him sourly. 

They followed the drive, circling a wing 
of the hospital to reach an unused loading 
dock. At regular intervals they passed 
guards, who nodded to Connager At the 
dock entrance they signed in, after which 
another guard spoke to a com disc and a 
guard inside opened a door for them. They 
walked along a corridor, passed through 
another guarded, locked door, and 
emerged in a lobby. 

The sign said emotional therapy center. 

Patients flowed in two directions. Those 
departing were taking descending esca- 
lators to the hospital's underground trans 
terminal; those arriving were stepping 
from ascending escalators, fumbling for 
their treatment cards, and hurrying toward 
the queues formed at gates that matched 
the color of their cards 

The pickets took in the scene perplex- 

edly and then turned questioningly to 

'Twanted to show you your problem." 
Connager said. 

Stel asked sarcastically, "Our problem?" 

"Humanity's problem, if you prefer it that 
way. As long as people feel a need for 
emotional therapy, are willing to pay for it, 
and have psychiatrists willing to prescribe 
it and call it necessary, we'll have laws 
about natural death. There are the people 
you should picket," 

"They're sick," Stel announced scorn- 
fully. "What good would it do to picket sick 

"Picket their psychiatrists, then. If this 
kind of therapy is necessary, the psy- 
chiatrists should be able to provide it 

All three of them turned on him. "You 
sound as if you're on our side, " Stel said. 

"Ever been inside a terminal ward?" 
Connager asked. 

They shook their heads. 

"I have to take a minimum of three daily 
tours of the place. You kids can't imagine 
how bad it is. Yes, I'm on your side. But 
you're challenging a universal medical 
practice that happens to be legal. The 
only way to stop it is to get the law 

"Bringing the public's attention to such 
horrors will put pressure on the legisla- 
ture," Stel said confidently, 

■ "More than half the public you're trying 
to arouse needs the emotional therapy 
you're trying to do away with," Connager 

said. "At least twenty-five percent couldn't 
function without it. Because oi your picket- 
ing, the directors have closed the outpa- 
tient clinics, restricted admissions, and 
even cut back on some emergency ser- 
vices, but they wouldn't dare interrupt the 
emotional therap_y treatment schedule, 
Look at the patients waiting for treatment, 
and then look at those leaving." 

They were an abstracted cross section 
of gross humanity. Some were withdrawn, 
moody, depressed; some were elated, 
talking volubly, and laughing shrilly at their 
own pointless jokes; some were nonde- 
script and would not have been taken for 
mental patients except in that particular 
lobby. Almost all of them carried binocu- 
lars. As their turns approached, they 
displayed the craving, the sickening 
eagerness, of 'cotics addicts about to re- 
ceive a fix. And those emerging from treat- 
ment had a dazed, drugged appearance, 
sometimes ornamented with the smug 
smile of satiety. 

"Now you know the problem," Connager 
said, "If I could think of an answer, I'd be 
glad to tell you what it is." 

He took them back to the service en- 
trance and left them. When he reached his 
own headquarters, he watched briefly a 
pair of monitor screens that showed the 
pickets marching peacefully along the 
fence and waving their signs. In the back- 
ground, a lone Public Security agent was 
watching indifferently. Public Security, at 
least, did not panic at the sight of a few 
peaceful pickets; but Public Security. 
wasn't responsible for what occurred in- 
side the hospital. 

Connager turned to an assistant, who 
was watching the row of interior surveil- 
lance screens. "Argorn made any interest- 
ing contacts 7 " he asked. 

"She rarely speaks to anyone. She even 
eats alone." 

She was walking with slow deliberation 
along a corridor: Nellisly Rhoodhal 
Argorn, a sturdy-looking woman with a 
large frame and hefty shoulders. The hos- 
pital needed such help. One thing ma- 
chines could not do was lift and care for 
patients, and Argorn was very good at it. 
She was strong but gentle. Her superiors 
thought highly of her, and they were in- 
dignant when Connager placed her on 

She stopped to look in both directions 
before she entered Ward 9E. The assistant 
punched a number, switching the monitor 
to another camera. Inside the ward, 
Argorn was slowly walking along a row of 

Hospital employees called them cof- 
'fins. They were life-support systems for 
the desperately ill, boxes with curved 
plastic lids that were closed when the 
patient was using oxygen, and they con- 
tained all of the complicated electronic 
instrumentation and apparatuses neces- 
sary to monitor a patient's vital signs and 
supply nourishment or medication as 
prescribed — and sound an alarm at any ., 

significant deviation from Ihe predicted 

Argorn paused several times to glance 
ai the patients she passed, and finally — 
alter cautiously looking about her again — 
she stopped by the .coffin of patient 7-D- 
27-392A. Connager's assistant clicked a 
stopwatch. Argorn remained there for five 
minutes and 17 seconds, performing the 
routine chores a nurse's aid was responsi- 
ble for — she sponged the patient's face, 
she performed a synch test on instru- 
ments and monitors, she rearranged the 
illow. smoothed blankets, and saw that 
the patient was resting and breathing 
comfortably; and then, for a full two rr' 
utes, she stood and watched her. Finally 
she moved on, with brief glances at other 

Connager dialed the daily report on pa- 
tient 7-D-27-392A and studied it thought- 
fully: Ritella Downley Smithson. a widow, 
aged 102, diagnosis Retlaftd's cancer, 
curable if detected in time, but hers hadn't 
been. The deteriorating-prognosis li 
had dropped below 20 percent. She 
would not be moved to a terminal ward un- 
:il it reached, zero. She had no known living 
relatives; she'd had no visitors. 

And Argorn demonstrated a special in- 
terest in her. Connager asked his staff to 
find out why. 

Connager's jacket pocket beeped 
twice. Connager took the com disc, ac- 
tivaied it. and responded. "Hospital Secu- 
rity. Connager." 

"'"mergency board meeting," the se- 
ductive voice announced, "They want 

"Everyone wants me," Connager said 
wearily. "It's because I'm so handsome." 

The voice giggled warmly. 

The board members were doctors c 
varying specializations, splendidly com 
| petent in medical matters and completely 
tost when confronted with a problem in se- 
curity. All of them turned expectantly when 
Connager entered. Before he seated him- 
self, he passed around a stack of reports. 

"I've put my appraisal of the situation in 
writing, gentlemen," he said. "Is'eenorea- 

mto change a syllable of the recommen- 
dations I gave you at your last meeting. 
There is no external threat to this hospital. 
Those youngsters on the .picket lines 
aren't about to storm the building, They 
thinkthey're much more concerned about 
vour patients than you are, because they 
; nclude the terminal patients in their c< 

i. and they're convinced that you 
don't. There is a serious potential threat to 
the patients, and you're right to be con- 
cerned about it, but it's an internal threat." 

Dr. Alfnol said Incredulously, "After all 
•hat's happened in the past three days, do 
you still maintain that this hospital's pa- 
tients may be in danger from our own em- 
ployees and staff?" 

"Yes, sir, because of the lax procedures 
fallowed in hiring and in inventories prior 
to my transfer here. I state my recommen- 
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verbally. Cut the external security to a rea- 
son able.mini mum. Let me move my people 
inside, where they're needed." 

"Are you aware that the number of pick- 
ets has doubled since noon?" 

"Yes, sir. And I've never seen a more 
peaceful group of pickets. They may make 
threatening gestures, but that's only to at- 
tract public attention to what they consider 
a serious moral problem. Frankly, gentle- 
men, I'm wondering if they aren't perform- 
ing a useful social function. They've 
managed to frighten everyone in the hos- 
pital, including you. When was the last 
time any of you were frightened? An 
occasional strong emotional reaction is 
healthy. If you have one often enough, it 
keeps you out of Emotional Therapy. Ask 
your psychiatrist." 

Several of the. doctors were looking at 
him angrily — which was, Connager re- 
flected, another healthy emotional reac- 
tion. He said again, "The threat to this 
hospital's patients is an internal one. I've 
found no trace of the missing syringes. 
I've found no explanation for the alarming 
pharmaceutical shortage. I don't know 
how many undesirable employees we 
have because the proper checks weren't 
made at the time they were hired. I request 
permission to move my people inside." 

"Do you still suspect Argorn?" the direc- 
tor demanded. "Her superiors think that's 

"She was hired recently enough so that 
the information on her application could 

be checked, sir. And she lied about every- 
thing except the fact that she's female and 
her present address. I'd like to know why. I 
can't ask her, because that would alert her 
to the fact that I'm suspicious. If she has 
coconspirators, I want her to lead me to 

"Ridiculous!" Dr. Alfnol muttered. 

"No, sir. It's sufficient reason for watch- 
ing her carefully, which is my job. I'm 
giving you my recommendations about 
security, which also is my job." 

"Very well, Connager. " The director 
wasn't enjoying being frightened, how- 
ever therapeutic his psychiatric col- 
leagues might consider it. "We'll consider 
your report and let you know," 

It was almost dark when Connager left 
the building. He walked slowly down the 
drive to the main gate. He stood therefor a 
time with the guards, watching the pick- 
ets. Two dark-haired girls, walking one be- 
hind the ofher. looked at him curiously and 
then looked away. There were now two in- 
different agents; Public Security had 
doubled its force for the night shift. 

"The kids shouldn't be blocking the 
gate," Connager announced. 

The guards looked at him perplexedly 
No visitors were being admitted, and there 
hadn't been any ground traffic in three 
days. Connager signaled for the gate to 
be opened. "The idea," he said, "is to be 
firm." He went out to the parkway and be- 
gan walking alongside the'pickets, joking, 
asking questions, and then moving on. 

It was quite dark now. and several were 
carrying torches. 

Finally, Connager reached one of the 
dark-haired girls. She spoke softly. "Stel 
made the arrangements. Everything is 
ready " 

"Good. Tell her she can't be late. Every- 
thing depends oh the iiming." 

"I wish we could come." 

"No. There's risk enough without that. 
Your being there would turn a protest into a 

He moved along to the other dark- 
haired girl and spoke to her about block- 
ing the gate. Then he turned back. He 
motioned to the guards, who opened the 
gate for him. The pickets already had ar- 
ranged their lines into two circling seg- 
ments to leave the gate clear. 

"How come they do what you tell them?" 
one of the guards asked. 

"I always say please," Connager told 

He returned to his headquarters. Doctor 
Alfnol was waiting there, talking with one 
of Connager's assistants. "Where have 
you been?" he demanded. 

"Out persuading the pickets not to block 
the main gate." 

"Oh. The board has rejected your rec- 
ommendations. There are more pickets 
now than there were this afternoon. Keep 
the guards outside." 

Connager said, "Sir, I'm worried about 
the terminal wards. At least let me bring 
enough people inside to put them under 
maximum security." 

"The board sees the situation differently. 
Keep your people outside." 

The director left. Connager told his as- 
sistant, "I'm going to rest awhile. Call me 
when you have to." He went to his office, 
stretched out on an uncomfortable sofa, 
and tried to sleep. At 2200 he was up 
again and making his rounds. 

An uneasy quiet had settled on the hos- 
pital. The routine went its inexorable way 
without incident, and except for an occa- 
sional prentice nurse moving from one 
ward to another, Connager met no one, He 
missed the humming PTVs; theirs was the 
most characteristic sound of the modern 
hospital, but few patients were sent any- 
where between their evening meal and 
breakfast, and none at all were moving 
about on this night, 

He descended to the first level and 
spoke to his com disc. "Connager here. 
I'm going for a swing outside. I'll be out of 
contact for 30 or 40 minutes." 

"All clear here," his assistant 
"What's Argorn doing?" 
"Taking her break." 

"I'll check in as soon as I'm back inside." 
Connager turned into a short exit corri- 
dor that was off monitor, and he actually 
opened a seldom used exterior door and 
closed it again. Then he stretched on a 
pair of surgical gloves. He unlocked and 
opened the metal cover to a service shaft, 
climbed in, and closed and locked it. 

With a light dangling from his wrist, he 
climbed down a ladder to the hospital's 
lowest level. He emerged in another off- 
monitor corridor, crossed to a square 
metal door, and unlocked it. The tunnel to 
the hospital's power plant stretched be- 
fore him — low, half filled with pipes, but 
easily negotiable. 

He reached the end, unlocked the door 
there, and stepped into the power plant. 
Now he was outside the hospital's fence 
and the cordon of guards. The old boilers 
were no longer in use; the building was 
kept in maintenance in case of emergen- 
cies. There was no night attendant, 

Connager went directly to an exit at the 
rear and unlocked it, 

Stel stood there with eleven carefully 
chosen recruits. "Five females and seven 
males," she said. "It better be right. You're 

"One minute early," Connager said. 
"Five and seven — check. Let's move." He 
passed out surgeon's gloves, and all of 
them, with unpracticed awkwardness, 
stretched them on. Then he motioned 
them inside and locked the door. 

The time was 2244 when Connager 
emerged from the service shaft at the 

second-floor level. Leaving the 1 2 pickets 
clinging to the metal ladder, he replaced 
the cover and went to scout around. 

"Connager here," he told his com disc. 
;'Back inside." 

"Everything's still quiet," his assistant 

He returned to the shaft, motioned the 
pickets out, and led them to a storage 
room across the corridor. "You'll find uni- 
forms there," he said. "Get dressed." 

He left them and went for a brief inspec- 
tion tour of that wing — up a flight, along a 
corridor, down a flight. Adoorattheendof 
the corridor opened. A group of nurses 
and prentices emerged. Connager 
counted, them as they passed, nodding at 

n: the nursing staff of the terminal 
wards, going for its 2300 break. They all 
went together — who could be concerned 
about an emergency among patients 
placed on the hospital's discard heap 
to die? And they always left early and 

As soon as they turned the corner, Con- 
nager opened the door to the storage 
^oom. He motioned out the pickets, now 
dressed as nurses. He handed them a 
carton that had been hidden behind a 
stack of large containers: two gross of dis- 
posable hypodermic syringes, each of 
which Connager himself had filled with 
five cc's of Tharmenol — a lethal dose of a 
powerful, injectable barbiturate. 

"Be back at this door- at 2315 regard- 
iss," he said. He unlocked the door; hur- 
ried them through it, and closed and 
ccked it after them, 

Then he "took out his com disc. "Conna- 
ger here. I'm going into the terminal 

irds, ET levels. Mark me down as 

"Right. Everything's still quieL" 

"I'll relieve you at 2400. You need some 


Connager climbed a flight of stairs, un- 
locked a door, locked it after him. Three 
strides brought him to a second door, and 
he emerged from that one into an Emo- 
tional Therapy treatment session. 

The balcony slanted steeply; the psy- 
chiatric patients sat staring down into the 
arena, most of them using binoculars. And 
in the arena were the rows of terminal pa- 
tients dying the natural deaths that the law 
guaranteed and demanded dying without 
medicine or medical condolence, dying in 
agony. Their twisted bodies heaved with 
pain, their moans and screams and wails 
reverberated from one sound amplifier to 

And the ET patients — the mentally ill 
whom this society had insulated from 
pain, from fear, from all the strong emo- 
tions it considered socially undesirable 
and who now had to be exposed to death 
agonies as therapy — these were bathing 
themselves in effusions of terminal tor- 
ment. They sat transfixed, totally ab- 
sorbed in the horrendous sufferings of the 
doomed patients below, vicariously expe- 
riencing a few minutes of death agony 
each day to make an emotionally barren 
existence possible. 

On the lower level, the dying patients' 
cots were arranged in double rows, with a 
space between them for the use of medi- 
cal personnel, and those psychiatric pa- 
tients with high disability indexes walked 
along a transparent wall on either side, 
stopping here and there to press their 
faces against the plastic barrier and drool 
at the convulsive anguish just beyond 
their noses. 

Connager had never been able to view 
the scene without an impotent anger that 
sickened him, but on this night he had to 
remain tensely alert. Six of the pickets, 
disguised as nurses, were working along 
the dozen rows of patients: the males in 
pale blue trousers, coats, and caps; the 
females dressed the same except for their 
traditional nurse's headpiece. All of them 
wore surgical masks. In the adjoining 
ward, the other six would be working. They 
had 1 5 minutes to get to the far end of the 
ward and return. Siel had briefed them 
with care. Their nurse's posture was more 
than adequate as they routinely checked 
their patients— here bathing a face, there 
straightening a pillow, rearranging a 
twisted leg, covering a tormented body — 
and as a final caress injecting five cc's of 
Tharmenol into the patient's upper arm 

It meant 20 patients for each masquer- 
ading nurse — 240 in two wards; for only 
the most agonizing deaths were put on 
display for Emotional Therapy. Those pa- 
tients with the bad taste to die quietly w.ere 
allowed to have their natural deaths with- 
out spectators. 

Connager looked about for the psych 

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techs. They had noticed nothing irregular, 
but they were watching their own patients, 
not the terminals whosesutfer.ihg pro- 
vided the treatment. He saw no psychia- 
trist on either balcony, but there rarely was 
one at this time of night — even though the 
treatments were available on a--24-hour 
schedule because the dying patients' suf- 
fering was continuous. ■ ",, . 

Connager turned his attention -to one of 
the phony nurses. Already his movements 
looked practiced and efficient. He -had 
achieved the mechanical indifference of 
the regular nurses, who knew that no kind 
of unsympathetic handling would distract 
from a profundity of torment. A touch of the 
brow with his left hand, a smoothing of a 
blanket; and his right hand swung Home 
the syringe, emptied it, withdrew it, .re- 
turned it to the cart he pushed ahead of 
him. The instrument ot death was handled 
almost invisibly. [p 

In the next aisle, one of the girls had 
reached the end of the row and. started 
back. Connager looked at his watch. They 
were making better time than he had 

Anxiously, he turned his attention to the 
patients already injected. 11 ,they reacted 
to the drug too. quickly, if their agonies 
subsided before the pickets got out of the 
room, the result could be catastrophic. 
The ET patients would profest instantly. 
Connager had seen a near riot when three 
terminal patients had died simultaneously, 
thus depriving the watching ET patients of 

their therapy. 

But there was no reaction — yet. Seven 
minutes. All of the nurses were working 
back on the opposite row of patients. Five 
minutes. Four. 

Connager left the balcony and passed 
through the double doors back into the 
main hospital. The general-alarm gong 
was sounding when he opened the sec- 
ond door. He ignored it, coolly locking the 
door behind him. He ran down a flight of 
stairs, unlocked the stock room door, and 
went to open the door he had passed the 
pickets through. 

Stel and another girl staggered out. 
Both had ripped off their surgical masks. 
The other girl was holding hers to her 
mouth, trying not to be sick, their faces 
were pale and dripping with perspiration. 
Connager waved them to the stock room, 
and they began to.strip off their uniforms 
before the door closed ori them. A boy 
hurried out and went to join them. And an- 
other. The others came in a rush, and Con- 
nager counted 12 and locked the door. He 
went to the service Shaft and removed the 
cover. As fast as they were able to change, 
the pickets hurried to the shaft and started 
down. Connager went last, pausing to 
lock the stock room door and dump the 
uniforms down a laundry chute. Moments 
later he had the pickets scurrying back 
through the tunnel. 

He took his com disc from his pocket. It 
beeped stridently when he activated it. 
"Connager here." 

"Emergency!" his assistant gasped. 
"The pickets are rioting. Argorn turned off 
the life-support system on patient 7-D-27- 
392A. The director wants you." 

"About the pickets, nonsense. Have you 
got Argorn?" 
"Yes, but—" 

"Then it's a medical problem. We've 
handled the security problem. Tell the di- 
rector I want all available medical staff 
rushed to the terminal wards. Get those 
terminal wards nurses off their tails and 
back to the wards. Class one emergency. 
It's hot, and i'm chasing it. Forget the pick- 
ets. Don't call me." 

He dropped the disc back into his 
pocke't and climbed into the tunnel. 

As he let the pickets out of the power 
plant door, they stripped off their gloves 
and handed them td him. "It was ghastly," 
Stel told him. Then she added, "Thank 
you . " 

"Get around there and get involved in 
the riot," Connager snapped. 
They vanished into the night. 
Connager retraced his steps, locking 
doors, removing traces. He dropped the 
gloves into an incinerator unit and 
watched them vanish. Then he climbed 
the stairs to ground level and took out his 
com disc. 

"All right," he said. "Whoever it was, they 
got away. Where are my people?" 
"They've all gone to the terminal wards." 
"How's the riot?" 

"They're still making lots of noise, and 
they threw something over the fence that's 
burning, but I guess they aren't doing 
"Then I'm going to the terminal wards." 
He pocketed the disc and walked along 
briskly, ignoring his fatigue. He would be 
up the rest of the night, but after that he 
could go home and goto bed. For the first 
time in three days. 

The director's face was ashen. "They're 
all dead! They killed every one of them!" 

"Not dead," Connager said. 

Or. Alfnol's jaw moved, but no sound 
came out. Then, abruptly, he was angry. 
"You— the director of security. Where were 

"A director of security," Connager said 
bitterly, "with a board that vetoes every 
recommendation I make. You wouldn't let 
me move security personnel in here, so I 
came myself." 
Dr. Alfnol stared. "You were here?" 
"In person," Connager said, still sound- 
ing bitter. "But one person can't cover all 
the levels. I must have witnessed at least 
50 murders, and I didn't suspect a thing 
until it was too late." ■ - 

"You mean— you saw it done?" 
"I saw it done. By people wearing 
nurses' uniforms. And it wasn't until it was 
almost over that I suddenly remembered 
that the ward nurses take their break at 
2300. They all go together, and 1 saw them 
go. But I was watching the ET patients, 
and I'm tired, and I didn't react to what was 

going on until it was loo late." 
"But— what did they do?" 
"They fussed with each patient, the way 
nurses do. What they did is a medical 

"Yes. Of course." Alfnol paused. 
"Argorn. You were right about her, too. But 
she claims that a gauge was malfunction- 
ing and the alarm didn't go off and she set 
it oft deliberately to get help quickly," 

"Could it have happened the way she 
"Yes, I suppose it could." 
"Then maybe- 1 was wrong about her, I'll 
have a look. I want thedata sheets on the 
murdered patients. "He turned. 
The director said, "Connager — " 
Connager turned again and faced him. 
"I'm sorry. Connager. You were right. We 
were stupid." 

"No. sir," Connager said, "but you violat- 
ed one of the basic principles of your pro- 
fession, Don't call in a specialist if you're 
not going to believe him unless he agrees 
with you. I don't tell you how to fix people's 
insides. You shouldn't be telling me about 
security. I've been doing the one as long 
as you've been doing the other." 
"I never thought of it that way," 
"What about the ET program?" Conna- 
ger asked. 

"We're bringing in terminal cases from 
the other hospitals. Each one will let us 
have a few, We'll have the program going 
again shortly," 

Connager had a brief interview with 
Argorn, and. then he told her superior to 
put her back to work. "She may be entitled 
io a commendation," he said, 

The nurse looked at him strangely. 
"That's odd. I thought you didn't like her." 
"Emotions such as like and dislike be- 
long to Emotional Therapy, The only emo- 
tional luxury a director of security can 
afford is to be suspicious. " 

He returned to his headquarters and re- 
laxed for a time, watching the pickets on 
the monitors. They had quieted down, and 
several Public Security agents were 
standing by conspicuously. 

Then his assistant came in. "Those pick- 
ets that were here this afternoon. They 
want to see you. To apologize for the 
fires — they say." 

I'll see them in my office," Connager 

They came in quietly, escorted by a 
Public Security agent whom Stel had per- 
suaded to bring them lo Connager, "It's all 
right, officer," Connager told him. "You can 
ieave them with me." 

The agent nodded and stepped back. 
The door closed. 

"We just -heard," Stel said angrily. 
"They're bringing terminal patients from 
the other hospitals. We didn't do a bit of 
good. You lied to us." 

"Two hundred and forty patients were 
dying in agony," Connager said softly, 
"Now they're no longer in agony. That isn't 
"It didn't change anything." 

"Changing things takes time," Conna- 
ger said, "You've been picketing for three 
days, and no one outside the hospital has 
noticed. But the public will notice this— 
two hundred and forty murders can't be 
hushed up. People will start thinking about 
those patients, thinking about what will 
happen to them when it's their turn for a 
natural death. And that may change 
things — eventually." 

"Changing things takes time," Conna- 
ger said. "You've been picketing for three 
days-, and no one outside the hospital has 
noticed. But the public will notice this — 
two hundred and forty murders can't be 
hushed up. People will start thinking about 
those patients, thinking about what will 
happen to them when it's their turn for a 
natural death. And that may change 
things— eventually." 

She brightened. "I didn'tthink of that. 
You're right. They can't hush up murders." 
She started to get to her feet, and then she 
turned to him again. "There's something 
I've been wondering about ever since — I 
mean, why don't people realize how horri- 
ble it is? I know there's all that double-talk 
about the law, but those who make the- 
laws are voted for, and the medical profes- 
sion advises them, and why does every- 
one let it keep happening?" 

"People do surprising things for money," 
Connager said. "The Emotional Thera- 
py centers are immensely profitable. 
The public won't pay taxes to support 
hospitals, but it's always willing to pay 
for entertainment" 

They left, and Connager leaned back 
and closed his eyes and reminded himself 
lhat he was no longer young. For these 
youngsters, it was an achievement. Some- 
thing they would always remember. For 
him, something he preferred to forget, with 
another weary night of security routine to 

His assistant came in. "Here are the 
datasheets on the murdered patients." 

Connager took the stack of folders and 
began lo leaf through them. He found the 
one he wanted. Veranone Janling Mar- 
cone. Age ninety-seven. Relatives, none 
known. Visitors, none. 

No relatives except a daughter willing to 
take a job as a nurse's aid just to be near 
her mother, and a son willing to take a de- 
motion to transfer to the hospital as direc- 
tor of security so he could visit her several 
times a day. And— when her illness be- 
came terminal — two granddaughters will- 
ing to organize pickets in a monstrous 
conspiracy they all took part in to end an 
old woman's death agony. 

A pity, Connager thought, that the psy- 
chiatrists practicing emotional therapy 
couldn't expose their patients to love in- 
stead of suffering. But perhaps they con- 
sidered love a dangerous emotion better 
left suppressed. It could lead to murder. 

"But it's also a beginning," Connager 
said softly. "It's one suffering old woman's 
ending, and it's a beginning," 
He closed the folder.DO 


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cow?) Even at his trial, where he learned 
he was a traitor and a spy and that this was 
in some way connected with his chess- 
men, Tomov was not surprised, because 
there was not room for surprise amid his 
efforts to understand what was going on. 
No one thought— or took the trouble— to 
mention the "poison" in the dye used to 
color the proletarian pieces of Tomov's en- 
try. But when the attendants carried his 
body from the bullet-studded wall, cer- 
tainly the expression on Tomov's dead 
face was one of surprise. 

The day following this correction of 
Tomov's error, Petroev, Champion of 
Chess, arrived in Moscow When Petroev 
and the peasant chessmen, playing be- 
fore several members of the Politburo, lost 
to each of the five local experts, to 
Donovich, to Dosiev, and to Donovich's 
ten-year-old son, the final confirmation 
had to be sought. It had to be sought if 
only because word had somehow got to 
the people of the city. Quietly, but very 
widely, in the shops, in garages, on the 
streets, discreet questions were being 
asked about the losing proletarian chess- 
men. So wide this knowledge seemed to 
be that the affair could not be handled by a 
few swift moves after dark. Faced with the 
prospect of purging all of Moscow and 
probably beyond, one realized other mea- 

sures were demanded. 

The Laboratory for Chemical Analysis 
sent its report: 

"Except for the'usual chemical ele- 
ments found in dyes (no doubt stolen from 
the Woolen Mill at Rybinskh), there are no 
chemical properties in these wood 
pieces. The same dyes, in identical color 
combinations, were used for pieces of 
both sets. The slightly different appear- 
ance of one piece is not due to any detect- 
able additional material used in its manu- 
facture, nor is this one piece part of the set 
suspected of poisoning." 

The laboratory report was labeled "sov- 

PLETELY SECRET," and rushed to a special 
meeting of the Politburo to be presented to 
Comrade Stalin and his immediate lieu- 
tenants. Since Comrade Stalin was indis- 
posed for two days, the meeting had to be 

Comrade Stalin became disposed. The 
meeting was held. Petroev was invited. 
Krakov and Donovich were allowed to wait 
just outside the door for word. A table was 
placed, and two chairs. The chessmen 
were set up on the board. Comrade Stalin 
challenged the evil and himself sat down 
behind the peasant king. The other chair 
was taken by that one man in the Politburo 
most skilled in military maneuvers, most 
read in the battles of Bonaparte, Caesar, 
and von Clauswitz, ablest of all the lieuten- 
ants at chess. That he had been hurriedly 
recalled from a foreign post because of a 

developing taste for western ways added 
spice and a touch of humor to the game. 

Stalin moved a sickle-swinging pawn. A 
chess expert? Not he. But a leader with 
faith in the peasant people represented by 
his chess set, a leader with faith in the 
principles for which he lived and fought, a 
leader with faith" in his power over the 
lieutenant playing opposite him. 

Whatever Muses, Fates, or gods watch 
over games of chess, they were sorely 
abused that day and are no doubt shud- 
dering still. Perhaps the spirit of Tomov 
also watched. Justice, not one to under- 
stand a special need, soon turned her 
eyes and dimmed her lamp. For none of 
the leader's faith had been misplaced. 
The lieutenant, however hard he tried, 
could not make an intelligent move. The 
Donovich boy would have shrieked with 
delight at the ineffectiveness, but there 
were only serious faces on the Politburo 
members crowded around the table. In 
less than a dozen steps the gaudy queen 
was gone, the puny soldier-knights and 
shoddy castles lay aside. Only the 
bishops, king, and a few stray pawns re- 
mained. Yet it happened. 

Breath stopped in every watcher, in 
both players. Not to make the move would 
have been too absurd. So a bishop 
stepped a single pace and stared down 
open passage to the peasant king. 


Perhaps it wasn't ever said aloud, the 
whisper was so low. But every ear heard 
it. And in the stillness following the. 
word, there was time, too, for every ear to 
hear the quiet questions of the people of 
the city. 

It was Stalin, the leader, who dared to 
lead now, to break the stillness. The words 
came softly in the exhale of a long-held 

"Not mate." 

His fist then thundered on the board, 
hurling the pieces far. His voice was large 
now, strong and low: 

"Check, yes. But not check mate!" 

Then still the leader, still the one with 
strength to act, Stalin picked up the 
pieces one by one, from the floor, the 
table, the board. He walked to the fire, 
dropped the chessmen in. He waited 
while they burned. For a minute, and an- 
other, he watched the smoke. 

And then he turned. Again, and quietly, 
he spoke: 

"Always there is a way: by skill, or then 
by cunning, or by force." 

The others hurried out to tell the people 
of the city that Stalin, again, had won. 

The last to leave knew better. They saw 
the leader's fist still clutch the wooden 
bishop. They saw the fist compress and 
crush till veins stood out and flesh was 
white. They saw — those last to leave — one 
tear from the hardened eye run down the 
cheek and "plop" upon the hearth. 

They saw what they would never say: 
without the skill, the cunning, or the force, 
the chessmen won. OO 



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democratic society was. In my view, it sari 
attitude that goes with a full belly. 

People in India or Burma, Guatemala or 
Colombia, can't afford to be as cavalier 
about stopping technology as some of the 
middle-class rebels of the sixties were. 

There's something arrogant, anyway, 
about the idea of doing away with technol- 
ogy, as though it were ours to dispose of. 
We tend to think of it as a product of West- 
ern society, and we forget that it's also a 
product of Arab mathematics, of Chinese 
inventions, and so on. Science and tech- 
nology are the common inheritance of the 
human race, and it's not for a few well-fed 
middle-class Westerners to say, "Let's pull 
the plug and begin again." 

But the iechnophobes are really only a 
small, romantic group. Most people, by 
and large, do want science and technol- 
ogy in their future. But they want a new, 
more human science and technology. 
They want advances that are carefully 
thought through, carefully selected to min- 
imize adverse side effects. And they want 
some say in the choice. 

It has always seemed to me that both 
extremes in this debate are dangerous to 
our health and ought to be labeled as 
such. At one end, the blind "progress- 
manics" who want to push forward with the 
same kind of brute force technologies that 
have already imperiled the planet. At the 
other pole, the equally blind and arrogant 
past-glorifiers who want to go. back to a 
past as prehuman as it was pretechno- 

What we need, even more desperately 
today than when I called for it in Future 
Shock, is a movement for responsible 
technology. That means a technology that 
recognizes our own limitations and 
the real or probable limitations of the 

Omni: Isn't it really too late? Haven't we 
gone so far toward destroying the environ- 
ment that nothing short of a screeching 
halt can now save us? 
Toffler: No. I don't believe in apocalypse. I 
still believe that, over the long haul, we will 
pull through. 

But, having said that, I also think the 
1980s and '90s will see someterrible tech- 
nological disasters If we continue on our 
present track. If we keep proliferating nu- 
clear plants, siting them on geological 
faults or near volcanoes or dumping radio- 
active wastes into the seas and into the 
earth, somewhere along the line, despite 
all the fancy computer models and all the 
assurances we get from the experts, some 
unexpected series of human errors will 
occur. All those beautiful fail-safe systems 
will fail to prevent a tragedy because they 
themselves,will prove irrelevant. You can't 
ever cover all possibilities. 

If it isn't a nuclear catastrophe, who's to 
say it won't be s.omething worse? We are 

132 OMNI 

beginning to .play with genetic engi- 
neering, weather modification, and other 
high-powered technologies we know little 
about. Considering our abysmal environ- 
mental record with far more traditional, 
less powerful technologies, there is plenty 
of cause for concern, 

But none of this means we should turn 
the clock back, that we should stamp out 
technology — which can't be done 
anyway — or that we should doom three- 
quarters of the human race to perpetual 
hunger or poverty in the interest of pre- 
serving the environment. What it does 
mean is that we can no longer play the 
technological game the way we have. 

It's a new game, and Rule Number One 
is "proceed with extreme caution." 
Omni: You say we must proceed with cau- 
tion, yet you've also often said that we are 
on the edge of fantastic breakthroughs in 
science and technology for which we are 
unprepared. Can you give us some exam- 
ples. How do you foresee scientific and 

6 / know perfectly sweet, 

intelligent people who are so 

angry at what they regard 

as the arrogance and 

dogmatism of the men in 

white coats, they would 

gladly lynch a few before 

breakfast. 9 

technological development in the next 
twenty years? 

Toffler: I think we'll see three separate, but 
converging, lines of development. I call 
them "high-stream," "low-stream." and 
"out-of-the-stream" technologies. The first 
of these— "high-stream" — depends on 
advanced theoretical knowledge or on 
complex techno-englneering. 

Under this heading, for example, I 
would Include space exploration. Gerry 
O'Neill at Princeton is still pressing for 
manned (and womanned) space colonies 
and has mustered considerable political 
and intellectual support. Work is proceed- 
ing on space manufacture — which will 
someday give rise to new processes and 
materials that can't be duplicated on 
earth. Work on the space shuttle moves 
ahead. Budgets will rise and fall, but we 
are irrevocably committed to space, in my 
opinion, and that commitment is likely to 

Similarly, while matters are confused 
because of the failure of the Law of the Sea 
conferences to arrive at an international 
agreement, there is no doubt whatever in 
my mind that we are about to take a his- 

toric step into the sea within the next dec- 
ade or two. We'll go from simply harvest- 
ing ocean life — i.e., fishing— to growing 
what we need— i.e., aquaculture. We'll 
also start taking manganese nodules off 
the ocean floor. And we'll build semi- 
submersible floating platforms on which 
we will put not only airports and oil refin- 
eries, but large numbers of people. We're 
going to make our own islands and popu- 
late them. That was Bucky Fuller's dream a 
generation ago. 

Omni: What new problems will this kind of 
high-stream development bring with it? 
Toffler: Just look at the political and inter- 
national issues you raise when you sud- 
denly create a new island! To whom does it 
belong? Can it declare independence? Or 
join the UN? Environmentally, how do you 
carefully, cautiously develop these ocean 
resources without turning the seas into 
poisonous soup? How do you avoid killing 
off the algae we depend on? How do you 
prevent overfishing? Who has a right to the 
krill that populate the seas between Ar- 
gentina and the Antarctic? 

Should American and other, multina- 
tional, corporations have the right to 
plunge madly into the oceans, in a com- 
petitive race for profit, and be given wide- 
open squatters' rights, or is the ocean- 
like technology — "the common heritage of 
humanity," as the poor nations insist 7 

Many of these same questions will apply 
to operations in outer space as well once 
manufacturing begins to take place there. 
And once the Pentagon and the Soviets 
begin knocking down each other's satel* 
lites in earnest. Once again — though we 
devote less money and brainpower to 
them — the social and political questions 
linked to technology turn out to be far more 
important than the purely technical or 
even scientific issues. 
Omni: What about genetic engineering? 
We've heard a lot lately about cloning and 
test tube babies. Is that "high-stream" sci- 
ence and technology, too? 
Toffler: Yes, I would include them under 
that heading. They certainly depend on 
advanced theoretical knowledge of 
biology. Years ago. at the lime I described 
cloning and birth technology in Future 
Shock, most people thought it was wild 
speculation, science fiction, Today it's 
front page news. And it will be even bigger 
news in the near future. 

When you get into genetic manipulation, 
you touch the life force itself. And like so 
many other breakthroughs, it has both its 
hideous risks and its positive side. 
Omni: What's good about genetic engi- 

Toffler: Genetic manipulation can yield 
cheap insulin. It can probably help us 
solve the cancer riddle. But, more impor- 
tant, over the very long run it could help us 
crack the world food problem. 

You could radically reduce reliance on 
artificial fertilizers — which means saving 
energy and helping the poor nations sub- 
stantially. You could produce new, fast- 

growing species. You could create spe- 
cies adapted to lands that are no.w 
marginal, infertile, arid, or saline. And il 
you really let your long-range Imagination 
roam, you can foresee a possible conver- 
gence of genetic manipulation, weather 
modification, and computerized agri- 
culture — all coming together with a wholly 
new energy system. Such developments 
would simply remake agriculture as we've 
known it for 1 0,000 years. 
Omni: What's the downside? 
Toffter: Horrendous. Almost beyond our 
imagination. When you cut up genes and 
splice them together In new ways, you risk 
the accidental escape from the laboratory 
of new life forms and the swift spread of 
new diseases for which the human race 
has no defenses. 

As is the case with nuclear energy, we 
have safety guidelines. But no system, in 
my view, can ever be totally fail-safe. All 
our safety calculations are based on cer- 
tain assumptions. The assumptions are 
reasonable, even conservative. But none 
of the calculations tell what happens if one 
of the assumptions turns out to be wrong. 
Or what to do if a terrorist manages to get a 
hold of the crucial test tube. 

A lot of good people are working to 
tighten controls in this field. NATO recently 
issued a report summarizing the steps 
taken by dozens of countries from the 
U.S. S. Ft. to Britain and the U.S. But what 
do we do about irresponsible corpora- 
tions or nations who just want to crash 
"ahead? And completely honest, socially 
responsible geneticists are found on both 
sides of an emotional debate as to how— 
or even whether — to proceed. 

Farther down the road, you also get into 
very deep political, philosophical, and ec- 
ological issues. Who is to write the evolu- 
tionary code of tomorrow? Which species 
shall live and which shall die out? Environ- 
mentalists today worry about vanishing 
species and the effect of eliminating the 
leopard or the snail darter from the planet. 
These are real worries, because every 
species has a role to play in the overall 
ecology. But we have not yet begun to 
think about.the possible emergence of 
new, predesigned species to take their 

Omni: What about that old-fashioned spe- 
cies, Homo sap/ens? 
Toffler: Well, what aboul us? Who is to re- 
design the human body? Who is to decide 
what your child and your grandchildren 
are going to look like? How shall we pre- 
vent such techniques from falling into the 
hands of the Hitlers of the future? 

As usual, we are racing wildly ahead in 
the lab with innovations but crawling when 
It comes to social and political innovation. 
I think every dollar used-for scientific and 
technical research and development 
ought to be matched by a dollar devoted 
to research and development on how to 
deal with the social and environmental 
consequences of that research. 

We complain that political and social 

systems lag behind scientific and techno- 
logical invention, but we put precious tittle 
money or brainpower to work on the prob- 
lem of social invention. We're trying to 
cope with things like genetic engineering 
with obsolete regulatory concepts. 

Not surprisingly, the guidelines and 
controls on genetic engineering are still 
only feeble at best. The geneticists (with 
some honorable exceptions) ana the big 
drug companies (with fewer honc-aiie ex- 
ceptions) don't want anyone te-"Jng trfe,T> 
what do to. They will want to D'aytr-ecame 
by the old laissez-faire njSes. 
Omni: What other "high-stream" deve De- 
ments are ahead? 

Toffler: Things are breaking toose on 
many other fronts — like brain r esea'ch. for 
example. Dr. Jose Delgadc. trie nan who 
once Stopped a charging bul by sending 
radio waves to electrodes implanted in its 
brain, is now in Madrid, after having left 
Yale. I saw him recently at a UNESCO 
roundtable in Paris, and he predicts that 

£ There's something arrogant 

about the idea of 
doing away with technology. 

We forget it's also a 
product of Arab mathem&ics, 

of Chinese inventions. 
It's not for well-fed Westerners 
to say 'Let's pull the plug.'* 

within one year we'll see non-sensory 
communication from brain to tKam— the 
direct input ol elecirica' = g"=:s kern ere 
brain into another, bypassing the sense 
organs. This has staggering ntp ':cat.=c-"s 
for our understanding cf cercepson and 
communication. Delgadc is speafeng our, 
trying to tell us that revolutionary changes 
are about to explode. He says that before 
long we will have the abiiify !g rieibefaiefy 
alter evolution of the human brain. 
Omni: Whew! If that is all "high-stream' 
development, what's 'iow-sTrea-m"?Give 
us some examples. 

Toffler: Well, "low-sirea— = :=:"-: eg. 
that is designed to be "ore n^—a" -nore 
responsive to local a" c:: — „--?, needs. 
less environmentally as-g/sd-a ""-e peo- 
ple working on this say lecrtnoogy doesn't 
have to be big and wasteful. They point 
out that, where capita 1 <z scarce a 71 - abor 
plentiful, technologies stmtfd be deliber- 
ately labor-intensive. They say that the en- 
ergy system mustfcei5:^---E :;:=-] 
built on renewable sources. 

This whole concept, as developed by 
E.F. Schumacher, is a constructive one, 
since it challenges the sssanpfton that 

the technology that works In Birmingham 
will necessarily be good for Bombay or 
Brooklyn. It attacks the basic premises of 
brute force technology, and many of the 
underlying principles of industrialism, 

I can give you one simple example of 
low-stream technology A futurist triend ot 
ours, M.S. Iyengar, some years ago 
headed up the Indian government's re- 
search laboratory in Assam. He looked for 
new processes that could be used by vil- 
lage people without much capital, without 
supporting staffs of Ph.Ds., without much 
energy input. He noticed that India was 
importing caffeine for pharmaceutical 
use. but that, at the same time, it was burn- 
ing millions of tons of waste. from its tea 
plantations. Now tea has a substance in it 
that is extremely similar to caffeine. So 
he invented a simple, cheap, village-scale 
machine for.extracting this substance 
from tea waste. Then he invented a tech- 
nology for using the waste from that proc- 
ess to make low-cost building materials. 

I think we'll see much more of this ap- 
proach in the years ahead, and that it will 
develop at the same time as our high- 
stream technologies, which will, them- 
selves, begin to embody some of the 
same principles. Eventually, we'll see 
high-stream and low-stream begin to 
come together in appropriate systems. 
Omni: You spoke of three main lines of de- 
velopment. What's the third? 
Toffler: In addition to "high-stream" and 
"low-stream" I would add what might be 
called "outside-the-stream" science and 
technologies — developments from fields 
that our scientific and engineering estab- 
lishments today, for the most part, regard 
as kooky, weird, or unrespectable— 
beyond the pale. 
Omni: Like what? 

Toffler: Like, for example, the new interest 
in the work of Nikola Tesia. Tesla was a 
genius who was supposed to share the 
Nobel prize with Edison but refused to ap- 
pear on the same platform with that "tin- 
kerer." Tesla believed that the earth itself 
could be used as an electrical conductor 
and that one could resonate electrical 
waves from point to point without wires or 
other connectors. For many years, Tesla 
has been a forgotten figure, 

Today there are persistent reports that 
the Soviets, the American military, and 
others are doing strange things with low- 
frequency electromagnetic waves, based 
onTesla's unconventional theories, 

Two years ago, for example — on Octo- 
ber 1 4, 1 976, to be precise — radio com- 
munications around the world were dis- 
rupted by some mysterious influence. It 
turned out. as I understand it. that these 
were caused by secret Soviet experi- 
ments. The U.S., Canada, Britain, and the 
Scandinavian countries formally pro- 
tested to the Russians. Intelligence 
sources reportedly now believe they were 
caused by waves originating at a Tesla 
magnifying transmitter in Riga, Latvia. 
Omni: What aboul fields like parapsycnol- 


ogyand the occult? 

Toffler: Well, this comes back to what I 
said at the beginning about the revolution 
in science itself. We are witnessing a slam- 
bang attack on rigid, restrictive concep- 
tions of science. This is coupled with a 
demand lhal the frontiers of science be 
expanded to encompass many subjects 
that have until now been regarded as 

Now, much of this— much of the inter- 
est, for example, in the occult, in irrational- 
ism, mysticism, or parapsychology — is 
either naivete or quackery. Millions of peo- 
ple, having lost faith in industrial civiliza- 
tion and its ruling' ideas, are desperately 
searching for a new world view or a new 
religion. And many of them are extremely 
gullible, easy prey lor the para-scientific 
hucksters and hoaxsters, for phony gurus 
and psychics. 

Some people — dissatisfied with the cri- 
teria science uses to determine truth— use 
no criteria at all. They believe everything. 

But while this is true, it's only half the 

Omni: Thai's rough language. What's the 
other half? 

Toffler: The olher half is that establishment 
science itself has become a church, wilh 
its own dogmas, hierarchies, and here- 
sies. It has its popes and cardinals, and 
the power to excommunicate. This power 
has been used to pillory scientists who chal- 
lenged prevailing scientific orthodoxy. 

Look what happened, for example, to 

some of those who suggested that 
Velikovsky's theories be tested. Whether 
Velikovsky is right or wrong is not at issue 
here 1 . What is at issue is the nasty retribution 
dished out to the few who seriously wanted 
to explore his ideas about astronomy. 

Smart scientists are usually agnostics, 
dumb ones are dogmalic and religious 
about science itself. Science is a power- 
fully revealing mode of thought. It has 
proved so powerful in explaining so many 
things that seemed "mystical" or "miracu- 
lous" at one time that many people treat 
science itself as though it were a religion. 
Pretty soon the adherents of this religion 
say that if a phenomenon does not lend it- 
self to analysis by the approved methods 
of the church, it does not exist. I can't buy 
that. It tends to draw too tight a perimeter 
around inquiry and it all too tidily disposes 
of a lot of phenomena thai— if real (and I 
stress the " if") — would make reality far 
more complex than we like lo imagine it. 

Reality is more complex than we can 
imagine. And it is at least theoretically 
possible thai there are dimensions of 
"real" experience that scientific mefhod, 
as we now know it, cannot illuminate. What 
if our basic assumptions about probability 
turn out to apply to some, but not all, phe- 
nomena? What it our present rather crude 
conceptions of time make it impossible for 
us to understand certain fundamental pro- 
cesses? What if physical laws do not ap- 
ply equally throughout the universe? What 
if some parts of the universe are "de- 

coupled" from the minor suburb we hap- 
pen to inhabit? 

I can sum it up this way: there are two 
basic issues. One has to do with subject, 
the other with method. So far as subject is 
concerned, scientists make value judg- 
ments about what to study. These value 
judgments are influenced by money, pres- 
tige, and the prevailing culture — which, at 
any given time, holds some subjects to be 
"uninteresting" or "unacceptable." Today, 
I think that dogmatic scientists are proba- 
bly too restrictive in what they regard as 
"worth" studying. 

The other question is more compli- 
cated, and it is related, The kit of tools 
called scientific method, which was put to- 
gether chiefly in the 17th and 18th centu- 
ries when industrialism began, has been 
powerfully useful. Today there is a growing 
belief that these todls, which some took to 
be universally applicable, may not be, and 
that we need alternative methods for deal- 
ing with anomalies. 

The problem, so far as I can tell, is that 
no one has come up with a coherent alter- 
native methodology, or alternative set of 
principles of evidence that has any rigor 
and that makes it possible to test hy- 
potheses, rather than merely assert them. 
As part of the birth of the new civilization, 
we may very well develop such alternative 
intellectual tools for dealing with aspects 
or dimensions of reality that may — repeat, 
may — lie beyond the reach of scientific 
method today. 

This would be a major intellectual ac- 
complishment. We will— and must—' 
continue to use existing scientific method. 
But we may come up with parallel, equally 
usetul and practical, methods for other as- 
pects of experience. If so, the "single v' 


' of industr 


I be 

replaced by a culture based on multiple 

Omni: In any case, we are clearly left with 
a lot of anomalies. 

Toffler: The anthropologist Roger Wescott 
has proposed we create a whole new 
branch of science devoted to questions 
that seem to defy scientific analysis, Let's 
take all the things that don't fit our 
preconceptions — our model of reality— 
and look at them in a new way. What he's 
asking for is, so to speak, a science-of- 
the-oddball. Under this heading, he lists 
a number of fascinating phenomena 
that probably ought to be given more 

Wescott lists anomalies or unexplained 
phenomena ranging from quasars and 
tektites to the Bermuda Triangle. He says 
we ought to investigate the Tunguska ex- 
plosion of 1908 in Siberia. Apparently, we 
have eliminated the hypothesis that this ■ 
was caused by either a comet or a meteor, 
and at least one Soviet astrophysicist 
claims it must have been a thermonuclear 

Then [here are the various unexplained, 
but repealed tales describing animals we 
now term imaginary, and there are odd ob- 

jects like chains we have found in rocks 
geologists claim are millions of years old- 
(Of course, one ought to be skeptical, too, 
about all our dating procedures.) In physi- 
ology, Wescott suggests, someone, ought 
to look into the phenomenon of firewalk- 
ing; why does it cripple some and not 
others? And what do we make of all those 
megaliths and other apparently ancient 
structures we find around the world from 
Peru to Britain whose function we still don't 
fully understand- and whose construction 
methods remain a mystery. 

I happen to believe, as I said a moment 
ago, that most of what is reported about 
the so-ealled "paranormal" and the "oc- 
cult" is pure nonsense and that many of 
the people writing books about these 
things couldn't distinguish a non sequitur 
from an Abominable Snowman. They 
show no judgment, no critical faculties. 
They apply no principles of evidence at 
all. And when you ask me to believe every- 
thing, I'm tempted to believe nothing. 

But when we start putting together the 
kind of hard, respectable scientific re- 
search of a Delgado, for example, with 
some of the as yet nonrespectable specu- 
lation about telepathy, w.e may find wholly 
new answers to old puzzles. Some of 
these could have immense technological 

Omni: Are you saying you believe in telep- 

Toffler: No. But I believe we are still at the 
, beginning of exploring our tiny little piece 
of the universe, that we're still scientific 
and- technological primitives, and- that as 
v„-o revolutionize science itself, expanding 
its perimeter, we will put mechanistic 
science— which is highly useful for build- 
ing bridges or making automoui es— in its 
limited place. Alongside it we'll develop 
multiple metaphors, aiternative principles 
of evidence, new logics-, and new ways to 
separate out useful fictions, from useless 

Omni: Is this what you mean by moving, to 
a new civilization? 

Toffler: It's part of it. The sp is tern a logical 
revolution in science is part of a much 
larger revolution in our culture that, In turn, 
is a reaction to the exhaustion of industrial 

Omni: What will this new civilization be 
like, and what role will technology play? 
Toffler: The shape of the new civilization 
will be determined by population and re- 
source trends, by military laotors. ijvvali.e 
changes; by changes in family structure, 
by political shifts — not by technology 
alone, I'm not a technological determinist. 
Nevertheless, the technological 
choices w.e make in the next five orten 
years will have. an extraordinary impact. If 
we choose to develop one energy system 
as against another, or one communica- 
tions network as against another, we will 
drastically shape the world of our children. 
That's why we need a technological 
Omni: What do you mean, a technological 

strategy? Don't we have one? 
Toffler: No The U.S. has nothing remotely 
resembling a technological policy. My wife 
and I have just returned from Tokyo, where 
we met with, among others, people from 
MITI — -their ministry of industry and trade. 
What interested us aboui the Japanese 
was not their very advanced research, but 
that this research was part of a larger plan. 
They expect their manufacturing sector 
to decline and their service sector to grow 
as it has in many other nations. So they are 
busy inventing practical applications of 
advanced technology for the service see- 
tor of the economy. 

Omni: You have been quoted as advocat- 
ing greater "citizen participation" in the 
making of major technological decisions. 
But isn't it naive to think that ordinary peo- 
ple, without scientific f raining, can make 
intelligent recommendations? 
Toffler: I don't think untrained people can 
replace experts— on questions ihatneed 
expert answers. But you don't need to Be 

6 Or, Jose Delgado, who once 

stopped a charging bull 

by sending radio waves to 

electrodes implanted in 

its brain, predicts that within a 

year we'll see nonsensory 
communication from brain to 
brain — the direct input of 
electrical signals.* 

an expert to know whai you want, and you 
don't need to be an expert to make the 
kind of value judgments thai technologi- 
cal policies are necessarily based upon. 

I would put it the other way_ I think it is 
naive, not to say anti-democratic, to go on 
letting major technological decisions — 
that will affect our lives and the lives of our 
children — be made by small elites from 
tt\e business, government, and science 
Granted, we don'l know much about 
how to get intelligent citizen participation 
in such matters. We lack the necessary so- 
cial and intellectual technologies, so to 
speak. But I think we can invent them. In 
this respect, the Swedes may have some- 
thing to teach us. 
Omni: What have they done? 
Toffler: The Swedes were hard-hit by the 
energy squeeze of 73. and they decided 
they'd better have an energy policy and a 
lot more conservation. But they also rec- 
ognized that if fhe policy came from the 
usual elites, and the people were not in- 
volved in formulating it, then no one would 
pay the slightest attention to it. So they 
tried to find a way to democratize it. 

I he immediate objection was, "What do 
ordinary people know about energy? They 
can't tell a solar cell from a fast-breeder 
reactor, so how can they make intelligent 

The Swedish government said, "OK, so 
the people don't know. Let's teach them." 
And it set up a program that, in effect, said 
that any Swede willing to spend ten one- 
hour sessions in a class learning about en- 
ergy would have the right to make formal 
recommendations to the government. 

Every political party from the righf wing 
to the communists, every trade union, ev- 
ery adult education center, promptly of- 
fered its own ten-session courses on en- 
ergy. The government people assumed 
that 10-15,000 Swedes might enroll. In 
fact. 70-50,000 signed up. That's like 2 
million Americans sitting down, taking a 
crash course, and trying to learn some- 
thing about a national problem. 

I don't think this is a panacea. I'm not ro- 
mantic aboul "the people. " I don'fthinK we 
can handle complex technological and 
scientific questions, or begin to control 
our own technological and scientific drive, 
without experts and scientists. But I also 
don't think we can afford fo leave science 
and technology to "the best and the 
brightest. " 

If we do. we'll find the tuture has already 
been staked out in advance by small elites 
who got there first and colonized it for their 
own purposes. And that's dangerous 
Omni: Undemocratic maybe. Butwhy 

Toffler: Because the trajectory to the new 
civilization takes us Ihrough unknown 

At the end of the line, after a generation 
oriwo, we may very well have a much bet- 
ter, more decent, more democratic, and 
more humane world than we do how. But I 
don't believe getting there will be smooth 
and easy- 
It history is any clue, the succession of 
civilizations is accompanied by blood- 
shed, disasters, and other tragedies, Our 
moral responsibility is not to stop the fu- 
ture, but to shape it, to channel our destiny 
in humane directions, and to try to ease 
thetrauma of transition. One way to do that 
is to invite millions of people, especially 
the dispossessed and disfranchised, who 
are seldom consulted., to share in basic 

This means giving them a stake in to- 
morrow, It means designing new institu- 
tions lor controlling our technological 
lunge into the future. It means replacing 
our obsolete political structures. It means 
new decision-systems that are both 
future-oriented and, at the same time, 
broadly participative. 

Only by opening the decision process, 
by democratizing our basic scientific and 
technological decisions, at least to a de- 
gree, can we hope to pass safely through 
the decades that stretch betore us. DO 

Copyright by Alvin Toffler 1978 



f»l MO. I 

mone into the sea here . . . here . . . and 
here. ... I don't know if it will be stronger 
than the whales' instinct to head north, but 
if we could lure them south. ..." 

"Of course." Barbara looked at the map 
a moment, visualizing what had to be ar- 
ranged. Marsha watched her, knowing 
thai they were going to do it. Neilher of 
them would let by even a slight possibility. 

'As they slid along the icy pathways, 

sometimes they bounced so high. that 
John saw his father almost lose his bal- 
ance in the seat of the snowmobile. John 
wanted to be at home instead of out here; 
nol that he cared about the whales — there 
were always whales, there always would 
be whales— but he had been teaching his 
mother to play chess, and that seemed 
more amusing than the whale hunt. He 
wondered about the woman from the Uni- 
versity. Were the other villagers thinking 
about her as they wound between the 
walls of ice twice a man's height? 

John wanted to take out his little note- 
book and look again at the word she had 
brought with her — "pheromone." A nice 
sounding word. It had taken him several 
days to find the word in a dictionary. He'd 
found "extinct" again, too, and found that 
he'd gotten it confused with "explicit"; but 
they were different words altogether, 
though they sounded good iogether. Like 
pheromone sounded, wifh a "ph" and not 
an "f." John wondered if anyone else had 
looked up the word. Perhaps only he, of all 
the people who lived in the village, knew 
how the word was spelled and what the 
dictionary said. After all, he'd had an en- 
tire year of accounting at college; he was 
the only one who carried a notebook and a 
pen all fhe time. 

They reached the edge of the ice, where 
the cold sea rippled in a choppy channel. 
Perhaps they would think fhe sea too 
choppy to go out. John got off the snow- 
mobile and looked at his father, but his fa- 
ther didn't look at him. He never did. 

John understood from his father's ac- 
tions that they would load the umiak right 
away. As he looked around at Ihe other vil- 
lagers, each preparing for the hunt, he 
saw that they were grim. As a boy, he had 
known the hunt as a glad time, full of ex- 
pectation and excitement. But things had 
changed so that the Eskimo had to defy 
the others from the south. Defiance 
weighed them down. They smoked and 
stood at the edge of the ice in their bright 
orange, blue, or green down-filled jackets, 
peering out at the sea. A few of the older 
men still wore their white-skin hunting 

Long ago, the men from the south had 
come and told them about fheir God, and 
how God made the world and everything 
that happened was God's will. Now the 
men came out of the green valleys and tall 

136 OMNI 

cities to tell the Eskimo that man had 
slaughtered God's creatures, and they 
would not come back unless they — who 
had never killed ' a great amount of 
whales — didn't stop the hunt. 

John wondered why God didn't put the 
whales together instead of waiting for the 
scientists. Could it be that all the iales they 
brought north were lies? 
■ John helped his father and other men 
load the yellow-white sealskin umiak — a 
long, slender, silent boal that barely whis- 
pered in the water. For Ihousands of years, 
even the acute whales never heard the 
soft whisper of skins gliding in the cold wa- 
ter. They loaded in food — walrus and 
sweets — a tent, warm caribou hides, a tool 
box, ammunition, close-range shoulder 
guns, inflated orange plastic or sealskin 
floats which still resembled the seal in a 
comical way, a box of diversions — 
magazines and a few western novels. 
Most important was the harpoon with the 
little bomb that would shoot into the 

4 Please, please don't 
kill any whales this year. 
They had heard it 
before. Marsha knew about the 

Eskimo-she knew that 
the whale and the Eskimo had 
lived a life together 
for thousands of years . . . *> 

wha e's back and explode within. 

"Are we going out?" John asked in sur- 

"Of course!" his father said irritably. 

John hadn't heard any whale sounds, 
and from the others still casually loading 
their umiaks and checking their harpoons, 
it seemed ihat no one else had, either. 

The boats slid into ihe sea. John worked 
his oar hard, not wanting the men to think 
that the year at college had taken any of 
the Eskimo out of him. Soon all the boats 
were out, but one man slood attheedgeof 
the ice. It looked like old George. 

They rowed and waited, rowed and 
waited. No one spoke. The men lil ciga- 
rettes and stared at the sea. John read a 
paperback by a man named Camus, who 
wrote about a hot, sandy land. 

Twilight, midnight, dawn passed again 
in such a short time that one could almost 
hear the soft hiss of the pink sun dipping 
into the sea, resisting with a bounce into 
the cold blue morning. It was too short for 
the transition of feeling a new day had 
come. Instead, it was intermission in a 
long, long day. 

He was glad to rest again, though the si- 

lence was oppressive. Arching his back, 
then rubbing his sore arms, he wondered 
what his father and the others were think- 
ing through those hours of paddling 
around and around, waiting for a dark un- 
derwater rush, a betraying vapor spout. 

The sea had remained silent for several 
days. -~ 

Were they thinking about the woman 
from the University? Or the lack of whale to 
divide in the village? Or perhaps the way 
others would look at them when they 
paddled back without a catch? 

"There aren't any goddamned whales 
out here," someone said loudly. 

John was Startled by the sudden 
voice — a forbidden voice. It snapped the 
tension so abruptly that he felt a physical 
confusion in his shoulders and eyes and 
neck. At once everyone began to speak, 
relieved to have their anger spilt into each 
other's ears. John heard them talk about 
"them" killing all the whales, about starva- 
tion, about being exterminated by conser- 
vationists and sociologists. 

John didn't worry about starvation. He 
knew that he.could get a job with the gov- 
ernment after another year of school on 
government grants. He knew that all the 
village could move away to work for the oil 
companies, or the fisheries, or collect wel- 
fare. No one would starve. But things 
would never be the same again. 

The village would be extinct — explicitly 

When he mused on the words, it 
seemed that they had a special meaning > 
that only he could grasp. How could he ex- 
plain it to them? This combination of 
sounds — didn't it apply to them, too? 

John remembered suddenly that the 
woman had said that whales were smart. 
Almost as smart as people, but in a differ- 
ent way. And she had played a tape of the 
whales talking to each other underwater. It 
sounded like funny electronic music . . . 

He knew a word that described those 
sounds. A word from his little notebook 
that he'd written down a long time ago. 


They dragged the skin umiaks up onto 
the ice floe, grumbling with disgust and 
frustration. John hesitated as the men all 
headed for the tents of the hunting camp 
where they'd spent their futile weeks. 
John's father looked af him. 

"Come on. We're going to have a meet- 
ing. Or is that below your dignity, too?" 

John shrugged and followed. 

They decided to break up camp and ap- 
point a delegation to write a letter to the 
President. Everyone in the village would 
sign it. Maybe they would get other vil- 
lages to sign it, too. Maybe they could get ■ 
compensation. And maybe they would be 
on the six o'clock news. 

The rest of that morning they packed 
their harpoons, magazines, and anger 
onto the snowmobiles. John prepared to 
ride with his father, but he turned away 
from John and said. "You ride with George. 

Tom is going to ride with me so we can 

George was slow; John tried to help 
him, but still they were lett behind. John 
felt a little fear because he'd been left be- 
hind, because his father had scolded him. 
Even with their radios, it wasn't sale to be 
so far from the village alone.. John thought 
about asking George what he thought 
about it — was it because they were the 
only ones who didn't speak during the 
meeting? Was it because George didn't 
go out on the hunt, but stayed at the 
camp? But he didn't want George to know 
that he'd noticed anything, 

They were just about to go. The buzzing 
motors of the other snowmobiles had 
faded beyond the mounds of ice between 
the village and the sea. John and George 
heard the whale sound at the same time — 
a great throbbing rumble, wet and strong. 

They ran to the edge of the ice and 
watcntl as a mass of gray-black rose out 
of the water, making a tremendous suck- 
ing noise. A fountain of vapor shot into the 
air, then a giant's breath. . . . 

John laughed and hurled toward the 
snowmobile's radio. He had his hand on 
the switch when George, old and frail as 
he looked, pulled him away and pushed 
him down on the ice. 

"What did you do that for?" John asked, 
his pride wounded. 

"Do you want to kill the last whale in the 
. world?" 

John got to his feet ana brushed the 
sharp ice crystals from his jacket There 
must be more," he said simpfy 

"Where?" George demanded 

John just looked at George. 

"Come and watch." George put his 
hand on John's shoulder as If to apologize 
for knocking him down, buthedtdrTtsayii. 
They walked together to the channel and 
wailed Again, farther out. the fluttering. 
slurping sound and a black mountain ris- 
ing out of the sea. The whale swam in a 
half-circle then arched down fof a drve. its 
shining tail giving a last teasrng glimpse. 

They stood for a long time, watching the 

"It's too late for us," George said. 'We're 
already changed beyond recognition. 
What do you think my grandfather would 
say about snowmobiles and radios? 
About shoulder guns?" 

John nodded. He knew this set of 
thoughts Every old villager had told every 
young child about it over and over. He had 
read one of the books that the socioiogists 
had written — he knew what Eskimos were 
supposed lobe. 

"It's probably too late for him." George 
said, squinting as if to see a rise or ripple 
on the horizon. 

John suddenly understood summing 
Not something he could put into words like 
"plaintive" or such, but it had to do with the 
voice of the whale. The whaie was f*e the 
last villager. There was no difference. 

Somehow, both of them had been 
squeezed out of the world. They were so 
alike they couldn't destroy each other, 
could they? John fell that George under- 
stood that even belter than he did, and he 
felt less alone inside himself. He won- 
dered why his father and the others didn't 
have this feeling, too. 

res, if I were the last whale, I would sing 
a sad song, too. 

He'd felt the danger for weeks, tasting 
man-ness and potential death in the water. 
Cautiously, he'd called and called for 
others. Usually, he heard distantly his kind 
in the cool summer waters of the north. 

This season, he heard nothing. Not one 
faraway voice rippled the water. 

/ am lost. 

I am alone. 

He coasted close to land, in spite of his 
fear, curious about the alien invasion of the 
sea. He found nothing and lurned back to 
the sea. Diving deep, he found a warm 
current with a startling taste-smell. 

He traced the taste tentatively at first. 
Pausing now and then, he tried to resist, 
not wanting to leave the cool waters. The 
trail was taking him away, back to winter 
water. He became warmer and the scent 
was stronger. 

Experimentally, after days of traveling, 
he called out to meef the bearer of the irre- 
sistible scent. 

Someone answered. DO 



Craig's right ear. 

Mladejovsky was thus able to conned 
the electrodes implanted in Craig's brain to 
a computer, which in turn was connected to 
a tv camera. The camera was pointed al a 
simple image, such as a piece of masking 
tape on a dark-green screen. The visual im- 
age was simplified by the computer and 
carried as electrical impulses to Craig's 

It worked. He was able to see the strip of 
tape as a white line and tell whether if was 
vertical, horizontal, or tilted ai a 45-degree 
angle. The Utah team also stimulated let- 
ters of the Braiile alphabet in Craig's brain, 
and he was able to visually read simple 
sentences like, "He had a cat and ball." 
Mladejovsky found there was no limit on 
speed; he could flash new letters to Craig 
faster than Craig could read by the normal 
tactile Braille method. 

But blind people don't want artificial vi- 
sion for reading but rather for mobility. They 
want to be able" to navigate without being 
led around by another person or a dog. 
They want to find their way through unfami- 

- 138 OMNI 

liar territory without tripping over obstacles; 
they want to spot curbs, doors, follow 
crosswalks, see automobiles. Can this be 
done? Probably, 

Mladejovsky foresees building a min- 
iaturized television camera mounted in a 
dummy pair of glasses. The electronics 
needed to convert the images would be 
carried on a belt. A cable could be run from 
the electronics package up the person's 
back under his clothes and then concealed 
under his hair, finally connecting to the 
implant's exterior "button" and fo the 
camera-carrying eyeglasses. 

What would the blind person see? 
Mladejovsky believes phosphene-dot 
moving pictures could be created, similar 
to those you see on electronic scoreboards 
in baseball and football stadiums. Only the 
images would be much cruder. The device 
implanted in Craig's brain contains 64 elec- 
trodes, which produce 42 phosphenes 
(you don't get a 1:1 ratio). The next step is 
an implant with 256 electrodes. 

Assuming that it will produce 256 useful 
phosphenes, which it might not. you'd still 
only be able to create crude, silhouettelike 
images. But they would be adequate for 
navigation. Mladejovsky showed me two 


At left Utah researcher adjusts wearable arti- 
ficial kidney on dialysis patient. Portable kid- 
ney allows patients more freedom than con- 
ventional hospital treatment. Charcoal (top) 
helps filter wastes from blood in wearable 
kidney. Above, tubing used in the device. 

pictures, each composed ot only 256 dots. 
One I could make out clearly as a man's 
bearded face. The second image, a pair of 
scissors, I didn't recognize. But Mlade- 
jovsky emphasizes that the blind person 
would have other clues to guide him in 
recognizing objects — sound, smell, an 
object's size in proportion io its surround- 
ings. If he was standing at a crosswalk and 
he saw a large oblong object getting closer 
and closer, accompanied by the sound of 
an internal combustion engine, he would 
know enough to get out of its way. 

Mladejovsky thinks that eventually they 
may be able to stimulate as many as 500 
useful phosphenes in a person's visual cor- 
tex. Of course, many problems have to be 
worked out first. 

William Dobelle recently left Utah to head 
the artificial organs department of Colum- 
bia University in New York City, where he 
continues his work, trying to solve the phys- 

iological mysteries of eyesighl. Craig is still 
part of the project, shuttling back and forth 
between Utah and New York. 

"In the meantime," says Mladejovsky, 
"I'm just biding my time. I can't do anything 
more until Dobelle, or somebody like him, 
can finally sit down and set up concrete 
specifications for what the artificial vision 
device should do." When that day comes, 
Mladejovsky and his colleagues in Utah's 
Microcircuit Lab are prepared to build the 
'Utah eyes.' "A mere technological prob- 
lem," Mladejovsky repeats. 

The artificial hearing project at Utah is 
quite.similartothe eyesight project. Elec- 
trodes have been implanted in the coch- 
lear membranes of the inner ears of four 
deaf volunteers. 

Mladejovsky and other Utah research- 
ers are stimulating the cochlea with elec- 
trical signals to create sounds of varying 
pitch and loudness. As with artificial vi- 
sion, the ultimate goal is to understand 
how human hearing works, and then build 
miniaturized computer circuitry lhat can 
be used in a portable hearing device. (The 
computer used in Ihe artificial hearing ex- 
periments, like that used for artificial vi- 
sion, is presently gigantic — 2.7 meters 
long by 2.7 meters high.) 

While artificial hearing may not sound 
as spectacular as artificial vision, Mlade- 
jovsky claims it is a much more difficult 
venture because deaf subjects have great 
trouble communicating what they're expe- 
riencing. It is difficult to describe subtle 
variations in pitch and loudness, and most 
subjects are mute and must communicate 
by writing or sign language. 

The team's biggest break came when 
they found a willing subject who was deaf 
in one ear only. Paul, the unilaterally deaf 
subject, has electrodes implanted in his 
deaf ear. When his cochlea is stimulated 
electronically, he tunes an audio oscillator 
to produce a matching sound on his good 
ear. This way he can tell the researchers 
exactly what they're producing with their 
electrical signals. 

But Mladejovsky admits that producing 
artificial hearing is much more difficult 
than anyone had suspected. 

Donald Olsen, a veterinarian in Utah's 
artificial heart lab, gently kicked a sleepy 
looking calf named Theodore. It was 
enough to bring Theodore rapidly to his 
feet. "See," said Olsen, "this calf is per- 
fectly healthy." Theodore did, in fact, look 
very healthy. The only thing distinguishing 
him from a normal calf was an array of air 
hoses sticking out of his side. The hoses 
connected Theodore to an external 
compressed-air pump that powered his 
artificial heart. Some 85 days earlier, 
Olsen had removed the calf's real heart 
and replaced it with a molded polyure- 
thane model called the Jarvik-7. Designed 
by Robert Jarvik, head of Utah's heart pro- 
gram, Jarvik-7 is'similar to Jarvik-5, the 
plastic heart that holds the world longevity 
record for artificial hearts. It kept a Hol- 
stein calf named Abebe alive in the Utah 

facilities for over six months; 184 days to 
be exact. Abebe died in May 1 977, not be- 
cause qf a malfunction, but simply be- 
cause he was a growing young cow and 
had outgrown the heart. (Calves are used 
because their cardiac output is similar to 
man's, they are good animals to operate 
on and they are far cheaper — at $200 
apiece — than gorillas or baboons.) 

Theodore's Jarvik-7 brings Utah one 
step closer to artificial heart implantation 
in man because, unlike Jarvik-5, it is the 
exact size needed for a human being. 

An artificial heart has been implanted in 
man on only one occasion. That was Dr. 
Denton Cooley's controversial operation 
on Haskell Karp in 1 969. Karp survived 
only a span of hours with the implant, 

Since then, blood pumps have been 
used as temporary-assist devices to keep 
cardiac patients alive for short periods of 
time, but there have been no more total 

This hiatus is partly due to now stricter 

40ur aim, " says Kolff, "is to re- 
store people." Utah boasts 

spectacular programs In artifi- 
cial vision and hearing, the 

most successful artificial heart 
project in the world . . . and 

other bioengineering marvels 
of medical care 3 

federal regulations for all medical devices 
to be used in human beings, as well as ob- 
viously due in pari to technical problems 
still to be worked out. Perhaps most impor- 
tant, however, is the recent decision by the 
National Advisory Heart Council to give 
left-ventricular-assist devices (LVADs) 
first priority and to deemphasize total 
hearts. This has brought a partial drying- 
up of funds for the Utah heart team. 

Willem Kolff differs strongly with the 
Council's philosophy. If the patient is sick 
enough to need an LVAD, claims Kolff, he 
really needs a whole new pump. Kolff feels 
that an assist pump cannot sustain a heart 
patient whose condition is so bad that all 
conventional remedies have failed. 

The drying-up of funds has temporarily 
killed one of Donald Olsen 's favorite proj- 
ects, the nuclear heart. Olsen favors 
hearts with a built-in power source be- 
cause they offer the patient indepen- 
dence. He also feels there's less chance 
of infection because you don't have to run 
electric wires or air hoses into the body. 

An electric heart will probably be the 
next step but, Olsen says, the batteries 
would have to be recharged 1 every three to 

four hours. A nuclear-powered heart, on 
the other hand, could run 40 years on a 
small supply of plutonium 238. 

There is one potential problem, how- 
ever. While plutonium 238, unlike pluto- 
nium 239, is not fissionable {you can't 
make a bomb out of it)_, it is highly carcino- 
genic and could be used to poison a city's 
water supply. The nuclear heart conjures 
up a horror scenario of terrorists kidnap- 
ping several cardiac patients and killing 
them for their plutonium capsules. 

Kolff is not overly enthusiastic about the 
nuclear heart. He doesn't share Olsen 's 
pessimism over running wires into the hu- 
man body and calls the electric heart a 
perfectly sane solution, The power pack 
would be worn outside the body, with wires 
leading inside. When asked aboutthe risk 
of infection, Kolff said, "So what? We're 
talking about patients with a life expec- 
tancy of five minutes." Kolff also made 
note of Dobelle's success in implanting 
wires into Craig's head and leaving them 
for three years with no sign of infection. 

Another solution would be to induce 
electric current-through the skin. Two 
coils — one inside the body, one outside — 
would transmit power from an external 
battery to Ihe heart's motor. 

The heart isn't the only internal organ 
that can fail in the human body. Blood ves- 
sels, nerves, bile ducts, urelers, bladders, 
and lungs also fall victim to disease and 
injury. Utah's plan: repair and replace 
these damaged tissues with synthetic 
plastics and rubber. Armed with a $1.4 
million federal grant, the university re- 
cently set up the nation's first Biomedical 
Engineering Center for Polymer Implants. 
Donald J. Lyman, director of the new 
center, has already implanted in dogs tiny 
blood vessel grafts made of a new poly- 
urethanelike material. Very large grafts 
made of Dacron have been used for years 
to repair major blood vessels such as Ihe 
human aorta. But Dacron and similar ma- 
terials are too rigid and fail quickly when 
used for smaller arteries and veins. 

What's needed is a flexible material that 
has enough give as the blood pulsates 
through it. That's exactly what Lyman and 
his staff of 20 have created. The flexible 
grafts in dogs are only three millimeters in 
diameter — smaller than needed for 
humans — and have lasted 1 8 months. Po- 
lymer implants in humans are expected 
within a year. 

Lyman explains that 80 percent of the 
human body is made of polymers, which 
are simply very large molecules (Euro- 
peans call them macromolecules). DNA, 
for example, is a polymer. And Lyman's of- 
fice reminds one of something out of Wat- 
son and Crick and the search for The Dou- 
ble Helix. The day I visited him, it was clut- 
tered with atomic models that looked like 
long chains of different-colored plastic 
baseballs. One 1%-meter-long model had 
claimed sole possession of the office 
couch. Lyman said it represented only 
1/20th of a polymer he was "designing." 


That's basically what the center Is do- 
ing: "We're mapping implants atom by 
atom." Lyman and his colleagues am 
creating brand-new synthetic polymers, 
which he said could be loosely described 
as plastics or rubberlike, in order to find 
the perfect implant materials. Lyman ex- 
pects his polymers to have mind-boggling 
characteristics. First, they must survive far 
longer in the human body than conven- 
tional implant materials. Second, they 
must eventually degenerate. Initially, this 
seems contradictory. 

But Lyman's plan makes infinite sense. 
Polymer blood vessels, ureters, bladders, 
or whatever must last long enough for the 
patient to survive. However, Lyman be- 
lieves only a few synthetics can last for- 
ever in the body. Human tissue is con- 
stantly changing while the implant is not. 
The trick then is to create materials that 
will encourage tissue growth on their out- 
side surfaces. In this way, a blood vessel 
could be implanted, and over a number of 
years, it would slowly degrade while natu- 
ral polymers would take its place, eventu- 
ally replacing it entirely. In other words, 
you could rebuild a man's insides with 
Utah implants and in, say, ten years you 
could cut him open and find nothing 
synthetic — only normal, natural tissue. 
The real goal of implantation, then, is 

Once the right polymers are invented, 
Lyman foresees building any number of 
body parts; lungs, an esophagus and tra- 
chea, skin, testicles, fallopian tubes, even 
nerves. "Blood vessels are rather simple," 
says Lyman. "They're really just pipes. 
The bladder is a bag. But nerves are more 
like telephone wires." Even so, Lyman 
plans to make, implant, and regenerate 
nerves, Eventually. 

it seems odd that with all the medical- 
science heavyweights concentrated in 
the establishment East and on the innova- 
tive West Coast that the most sophisti- 
cated bioengineering effort in the U.S. is 
going on in Salt Lake City. At first I sus- 
pected a fBligious motive, considering the 
overwhelming influence of the Church of 
Latter-Day Saints on the city. That idea 
was quickly dispelled. 

"Salt Lake is a beautiful city for skiers 
and backpackers," said one researcher 
who asked not to be identified. "With all 
these beautiful mountains, you can put up 
with almost any number of Mormons." 

Dr. Kolff gives a more mundane reason 
for Utah's success; money. The university 
has set up Kolff in a special position that 
allows him great freedom in acquiring fed- 
eral funds. Kolff reports directly to the 
vice-president in charge of research. 

The university's bioengineering pro- 

gram is not without its fund-raising prob- 
lems, however. The school is sometimes 
out-maneuvered by more powerful and 
better-connected rivals inthe fight for fed- 
eral money. I mentioned Michael E. DeBa- 
key, perhaps the most famous name in 
heart research, to Dr. Kolff and obviously 
hit a sore spot. President Nixon awarded 
DeBakey's team at Baylor College of Med- 
icine in Houston a real plum several years 
ago: the opportunity to work with Soviet 
scientists on a joint U.S.-U.S.S.R, artificial 
heart project. Kolff claims Baylor only got 
the job because of DeBakey's tremen- 
dous power in Washington. "They sent the 
least successful heart group inthe country 
to Moscow," said Kolff. While that may ring 
of sour grapes, DeBakey's longevity re- 
sults with artificial hearts are rather mea- 
ger when compared to those of Utah's 
heart program. 

And there's another funding problem. 
Kolff says Utah sometimes suffers from 
the government's peer-review system of 
awarding grants. "We're so far ahead in 
our field," says Kolff immodestly, "that it's 
sometimes hard to find peers." 

And that pretty much describes the 
bioengineering effort at Utah — peerless. 
The Six Million Dollar Man as portrayed on 
television will probably never exist. But the 
$8.4 Million Man is alive and well and living 
in Salt Lake City. 



ten, different membranes on one com- must go to a hospital three to four times a 
puterchip, week and sit for several houi 

Chemfets have already been used in 
testing rhesus monkeys, dogs, and cats. 
Moss believes it will be a few years yet be- 
fore they have an FDA-approved device 


Utah scientists are on the verge of elimi- 
nating one of the biggest annoyances of a 
visit to the doctor— the blood test that re- 
quires a wait of several hours to a week 
before you get the results. Often, a doctor 
must send your blood off to a lab, and you 
must make a second appointment — and 
pay a second fee — before you can be 
properly diagnosed and treated. 

Bioengineers Stanley D. Moss and Jiri 
Janata think the Chemfet, or Superprobe, 
will end all that. About the size of a needle 
point, it's a microprocessor chip (like 
those used in pocket calculators) to which 
a tiny chemical membrane of the type 
used in medical labs for blood tests has 
been bonded. What you have then is a tiny 
computer that instantaneously measures 
concentrations of vital blood chemicals. 

Let's say the doctor wants to know how 
much potassium you have in your blood- 
stream. He would take a syringe fitted with 
a Chemfet and stick it in your arm. But he 
would draw no blood. A desk top com- 
puter connected to the syringe would dis- 
play an immediate readout of the blood's 
potassium level. 

The Utah scientists have already built a 
prototype that measures potassium and 
are close to making pH and calcium pro- 
bes. Next on the horizon will be fluoride 
and oxygen Chemfets. Moss says that a 
different Chemfet will not be needed for 
each chemical measurement. He's confi- 
dent they can fit at least six, and possibly 
140 OMNI 


One of the problems ot painkillers is that 
it hurts like hell to get them when a needle 
is used. But the Dermatron, developed by 
Stephen Jacobsen and the Projects and 
Design Lab, delivers anesthesia without 
puncturing the skin. A band containing 
two electrodes and a dose of an anes- 
thetic drug is strapped over the skin to be 
anesthetized. The band is connected by 
cable to a power unit the size of a pocket 
calculator. By a process called ion- 
tophoresis, the drug is driven through the 
skin into the tissue. It's painless and 
avoids possible infection and irritation 
from standard needles. 

The Dermatron has been used to anes- 
thetize dialysis patients and those under- 
going wart removal, minor finger surgery, 
and the draining of: 


When a person's kidneys fail, he must 
be hooked up to an artificial kidney, or 
dialysis machine, in order to cleanse his 
blood of urea and other toxic substances. 
The standard artificial kidney is about the 
size of a washing machine, and the patient 

apparatus filters waste from his blood. 

Now Utah researchers have built an arti- 
ficial kidney that can be worn right on the 
body. It weighs eight pounds and can be 
strapped to the patient like a life jacket or 
set down next to him. In either case, it al- 
lows the kidney patient infinitely more 
freedom and mobility than standard dialy- 
sis does. Even though the wearable kid- 
ney must be connected intermittently to an 
18-liter tank, it still means dialysis patients 
can travel and lead more normal lives. 


Utah scientists have built a "television" 
that transforms x-rays into three- 
dimensional images. Brent S. Baxter and 
Steven A. Johnson of the Advanced Imag- 
ing Methods Laboratory have already pro- 
jected a realistic 3-D illusion of a human 
brain onto a television screen. It doesn't 
require special glasses as the old 3-D 
movies did, and several people can look 
at the image at the same time, The image 
also has parallax; that is, when you shift 
your head, you can see around the outside 
of the image, or you can bend down and 
look up into the image (or vice versa) and 
get a different view. 

Baxter says the device could be used 
for air traffic control (creating 3-D pictures 
of planes over an airport), architectural 
design, and for making 3-D geological 
maps of potential ore beds. — D.T. DO 


'.-.oh i M...-..L- 1 :■■■■■>■ f-'aw 'Li;: 

confident, enthusiastic; Golob has the 
clean, casual white-shirt-and-chinos look 
of a Harvard graduate student. He also 
has in abundance two qualities that may 
prove vital to the center's growth; a canny 
entrepreneurial sense along with a very 
serious commitment to environment 
awareness. His devotion to the center and 
his missionary concern tor spreading 
ecology consciousness infects his con- 
versation, and one is easily engaged by 
his enthusiasm. 

In his small, neatly organized office 
overlooking a bucolic Cambridge street, 
Golob brainstorms about the future. In the 
forefront of his thinking is a variety of plans 
aimed at helping the center reach a larger 

Educating the public in terms of envi- 
ronment awareness is very much a part of 
this future. Already, the center has moved 
into classrooms across the country Some 
five years ago CSLP established the Envi- 
ronmental Alert Network, inviting students 
and teachers throughout Ihe world into 
their activities. Some 60,000 students 
formed a junior league of environmental 
monitors and used the center as an edu- 
cational tool. Participating schools and 
classrooms became local CSLPs, and stu- 
dents corresponded with the headquar- 
ters center. 

Today, classrooms; tomorrow, science 
museums. With evangelistic spirit, Golob 
described, a strategy for expanding the 
center's information net through science 
facilities. There is a real need in museums, 
he says, for the kind of reporting that CSLP 
does. "Too much material in museums is 
historical," he complained. "It does not 
convey a sense of immediacy, a you-are- 
there feeling about the world." 

What he would like to see are CSLP 
message boards in science centers that 
provide viewers with a continual flow of in- 
formation about environmental changes. 
"Message boards," Golob feels, "have an 
immediate and striking impact on 
viewers." He speculates that this mes- 
sage board would be connected to a huge 
world map, offering push-button access 
to news of environmental phenomena 
throughout the world as they occur. 

"Press a button, and you would see all 
the active volcanoes worldwide light up. 
Another button might pinpoint the location 
of recent oil spills, insect infestations, or 
earthquakes. It would be a visual newspa- 
per dramatizing the constant changes go- 
ing on in our environment." Concluding 
with a flourish, Golob envisions a whole 
network of museum displays, a communi- 
cations hookup transmitting continually 
between museums throughout the 
country— and perhaps the world. Cas- 
sette tapes would provide general sci- 
ence background and would constantly 
be updated to provide present-tense im- 

" We must be making the transition from ape-man to modern-man . 
I'm getting ulcers." 


Golob's scenario is more than wishful 
thinking. Several museums, including 
Boston's Museum of Science, have shown 
real interest in the concept, and now he is 
applying to the National Science Founda- 
tion for support. 

These activities, of course, highlight the 
fact that the center has moved far beyond 
its initial clearinghouse role "Our name 
does not really describe our functions at 
this point," declares Golob. However, he 
adds, "We have built up respect from gov- 
ernment and scientists, and they connect 
our activities with that name. 

"Our future lies in nonadvocacy," Golob 
continues. "Once we become involved in 
causes, we lose our impartiality and our in- 
tegrity." This extends to the center's envi- 
ronmental educating. Rejecting dooms- 
day rhetoric or special pleading. Golob 
wants to "bring science to the people" but 
in "an impartial, nonadvocacy way" 

An informed citizenry finely tuned to the 
natural world around them. This is what 
Golob would like to see evolving within the 
near future. A good example of this ideal, 
he points out, is the "barefoot scientist" in 
China. These "barefoot scientists" are 
simply informed laymen— farmers and 
workers — who intelligently help scientists 
cover a natural event. They actually func- 
tion as monitors on the environment. When 
a meteorite falls in China, the government 
can count on factual reports from its citi- 
zenry about the trajectory of the object, its 
luminosity, and other matters of scientific 
interest. In America, on the other hand, 
Golob laments, "If anybody sees a sudden 
bright light in the sky, they immediately 
think. . . UFO." 

Despite the ground swell of interest in 
UFOs, the Center for Short-Lived Phenom- 
ena stays clear of this short-lived phenom- 
ena of the popular kind. UFO sightings are 
usually unverifiable and thus below the 
center's credibility threshold. This is not to 
say, however, that some pretty strange 
events don't make their way into the 
center's files. 

Two years ago, for instance, they were 
called in to investigate the disappearance 
of a ship off Nova Scotia. The Liberian 
tanker Grand Zenith vanished suddenly, 
the only evidence of its voyage a solitary 
lifejacket and some flotsam. The Grand 
Zenith, Golob now feels, may have fallen 
victim to what is known as a rogue wave. 
He explains: "Sometimes, when a strong 
wind collides with a powerful water cur- 
rent, they produce an abnormally high 
wave— a wave that seems to come out of 
nowhere." This wave, he continued, could 
create in turn a hole in the ocean, a vortex 
that might completely engulf an unsus- 
pecting ship. "Most ships never recover 
from the incident, and that's why scientists 
have so little data on which to develop 
their theories. " This wind-opposed current 
theory, he adds, may provide a good clue 
to eventually unraveling the mystery of the 
Bermuda Triangle. DQ 




1 fe'fe 

we breathe. Wilhout these microscopic 
'-stories transducing sunlight into chemi 
I energy tor synthesizing food, all life ir 
the oceans would rapidly die DO 

The intuitive answer 
is often totally wrong. 



You've seen the lype of vocabulary lest in 
which you are given a bunch of strange- 
looking words and you're supposed to 
supply the appropriate deiinitions. And 
you know the tests in which you are given 
pictures or descriptions of things and 
you're supposed to supply the correct 

Here's a vocabulary test that's so tough 
we'll let you look at both the definitions 
and the words — and you'll still come out 
feeling like a dummy. First, you'll find a list 
of things: doohickeys, whatchamacallits, 
gizmos. All of them have names — proper, 
correct, English names— that are listed 
in mixed-up order at the top of the column 
at right. Each thing has only one name; 
each name applies to only one thing. Just 
match them up. Easy. 

(All answers are on opposite page.) 


__ 1 . The metal frame on a lamp that 
sticks up around the bulb and holds the 

. 2. The part of a pair of eyeglasses 

lhat hooks around your ear. 

3. The hollow lump in the bottom of a 

wine boftle. 

4. The lip at the end of your shoelace. 

5. The business end of a cuff link 

that you put through the buttonhole and 

6. The gymnasium wall exercise ap- 
paratus with wooden uprights and hori- 
zontal rungs about every five inches. 

7. The part of your nose above your 

lip that separates your noslrils. 

_ 8. The small rubber typewriter rollers 

on the bar above the main roller. 

9. A band worn around the upper arm 

such as the one with the swastika on it 
that Hitler wore. 

. 10. The curly part of a corkscrew. 

1 1 . The round braid trimming on the 

border of pajamas and bathrobes. 

12. A tiny saucepan for melting butter. 

13. The cleft in the middle of your up- 
per lip. 

14. The party favor that unrolls when 

you puff on it. 

,1 5. The connect/disconnect buttons 

that the receiver of your telephone rests on. 

144 OMNI 


A , Aglet 

I . 









Comfort cable 






I , 

Stall bar 


Bale rolls 












The following 1 3 puzzles are classic sci- 
ence problems. They all require some 
scientific knowledge to help solve them. 
The intuitive answer is often totally wrong. 

HOT DROPS. Two mercury droplets 
having exactly the same temperature 
combine into one. Is the new droplet's 
temperature any different from that of the 
original two? 

drawing carefully. Can the man lift both 
himself and the block off the ground? 

COOLING POINT. Which method will cool 
your cup of coffee fastest? (A) Let the cof- 
fee sit for five minutes, then pour in cream 
from the refrigerator; or (B) pour the 
cream in right away and let the mixture sit 
for five minutes. 

UP AGAINST THE WALL. If you stand 
with your back and heels against a wall, 
can you louch your toes without bending 
your knees? (Try to solve this problem 
without actually attempting the exercise.) 
A HARD SKATE. Is it easier to ice-skate 
when the air temperature is at 0°For at 
3Q F(-32°Cor-1 :D G)? 
WHEELING EASY. Which is easier: push- 
ing a wheelbarrow or pulling it? 
WATCH THIS. If you take your watch to 
the mountains, will it run faster or slowe,r 
than usual? 

POLES APART. Antarctica has eight 
times as much ice as the Arctic. Why? 
the better mileage — 4 liters of cold gaso- 
line or 4 liters of warm gasoline? 
POTTED PROBLEM. Which pot will hold 
more coffee? (The cross sections of the 
coffeepots are the same, but the pot on 
the left is taller.) 

BOILING POINT. The boiling point of wa- 
ter is lower when atmospheric pressure 
decreases. Theoretically, then, you coulc 
attach a suction pump to a pot, suck out 
the air above the water level, and the wa- 
ter would come to a boil faster, thereby 
saving energy. Do you see anything 
wrong with this invention? 

TILTING BALLOON. Inside a moving au- 
tomobile a child holds a helium balloon 
by a string. AH the windows are closed. ■ 
Which way will the balloon move if the 
car makes a righl turn? 
SUNKEN SUB. The captain of a subma- 
rine fries at all costs to avoid letting the 
sub come to rest on a clay or sandy 
ocean bottom. He knows that if this 
happens, it can be fatal. Why? 


Morris's First Law states that if there is 
any generally recognized human foible, 
someone is sure to reduce it to epigram 
form, attach his last name to it, and an- 
nounce the discovery of a new law Thus, 
we have Murphy's Law: "It anything can 
go wrong, it will." Murphy's Law is the 
generalization from which many more 
specific laws can be derived, such as 
Gumperson's Law: "The outcome of any 
desired possibility is inversely propor- 
tional to its degree of desirability." 
Gumperson's Law explains why there 
are always so many parking places on 
the other side of the street. Sometimes 
the specitic cases are so significant and 
universally recognized that they get 
names of their own, such as Ettore's Law: 
"The other line moves faster." Or (Calvin) 
Coolidge's Law: "A lost article invariably 
shows up after you replace it." 

The problem with this whole law busi- 
ness is the temptation to take mere clever 
sayings and call them laws. A prime of- 
fender is Lawrence Peter, of the Peter 
Principle: "Bureaucrats rise to their level 
of incompetence." He had a neat little in- 
sight there, one that deserved to have a 
name. But recently, Peter rose to his own 
level of incompetence by announcing a 
new Peter's Law: "Today, if you're not con- 
fused, you're just not listening." 

This is not a law. It's a cute saying with 
someone's name attached to it. The same 
goes for Levinson's Law, attributed to co- 
median Sam Levinson: "Insanity is hered- 
itary; you can get it from your children." 

What the world needs is more laws with 
clear social insights: "If . . . then" type 
statements that truly enlighten us to the 
universality of our condition. We are firm 
believers in Gates's Law: "If there isn't a 
law, there will be." 

Readers are challenged to send in an 
insight capable of qualifying for the great 
Omni Law Book. First-prize winner will re- 
ceive $100. Runners-up (2-10), $25 each. 

Entries, postmarked by January 1 , 1 979, 
should be sent to Omni Competition-2, 
909 Third Avenue, N.Y. N.Y, 10022. GQ 


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this planet is awash with children abused, 
starving for both food and love. It's not a 
question of supply, it's a question of distri- . 
bution, and the sad tact is we don't seem 
to be directing resources t6 improving that 
distribution. Let's take care.of the kids 
we've got. 

Worry #5: In vitro fertilization divorces 
procreation from sex, and that is a Bad 
Thing, This Is 'one of the chief worries ex- 
pressed by organized religion. It-is cer- 
tainly true that in vitro fertilization by- 
passes a good deal of fun as it bypasses 
the fallopian tubes, and while that's a pity, 
it's not quite fair to say it's a Bad Thing in 
the cosmic sense. Nor is it the first tech- 
nique to do so, We've been trying hard to 
find an effective way of divorcing sex from 
procreation eversince we made the con- 
nection between a night of love and the 
day of reckoning nine months later. It's 
called birth control. In comparison with 
The Pill, in vitro fertilization is an inconse- 
quential toy. 

Worry #6: "My God, Professor, this time 
you've gone too far j-n probing the secrets 
of the universe." 

Will you believe me if I tell you that all the 
preceding worries-.'are rationalizations 
constructed by inventive human. minds to 
"cover up the fact that, this is the real rea- 
sQ.n'/n vitro fertilization makes us nervous? 
Wis worry takes two general forms, both 
of them literary.in inspiration: 
a. My colleague Willard Gaylih Calls the 
first The Frankenstein Factor, the terror of 
human intervention into nat.u-r'al pro- 
cesses', particularly by means of elabo- 
rate technology. A portion of thai terror is, 
of course; perfectly rational. Look at the 
record-.it is spotty. The rest is geared to 
■ . something like a religious awe, a. dread ot 
',.■ human'hubris in the assumption of -such 
. God- 1 ike powers. 

Its- good to try to improve our ability to 
".'predict the consequences of technology, 
.. and we ought surely to have learned by 
now that caution and conservatism in -ap- 
plying- it is wise. But we are kidding our- 
selves if we don't facethe fact that we are 
nature's experiment in an interventionist 
animal. We humans, or rafher something 
vefy much like us, only smallerand, not 
quite so bright, made and used tools mil- 
lions of years ago. Attempting to call a halt 
now is about as effective as trying to make 
a well-fed hou.secat stop chasing birds. Of 
course, that doesn't mean the fat tabby 
won't fall qutof a tree and get killed, and 
we may blow it too. But our chance to suc- 
ceed depends on learning to cope with 
our powers. 
■ -Jo. The Brave Wew World Brood. A pity.AI- 
" dous Huxley hasn't been around to hear 
himself so often hailed as a prophet in past 
■months. It was-he who predicted totally ar- 
tificial reproduction and genetic manipu- 
lation in his novel almost half a century 

ago, and nowrriany others' are looking into 
the'Petri dish that gave rise to Louise 
Brown and seeing it too. 

Reproduction totally in Wrro--from con- 
ception to decanting an infant-nine 
months later — is, -for technical reasons, so 
far away it's hardly worth listing as a worry 
Some people.think we may. never be able 
to manage more than a shabby and inade- . 
quate approximation of the miraculous- 
apparatus half of us come equipped with. 
Work will go forward on the artificial pla- 
centa because of its medical applications 
in saving very premature babies, but it will 
go slowly because it makes more sense to 
try to prevent premature birth by finding- 
ways of maintaining pregnancy for the 
proper length'.. o,f time. 

Surrogate-mothers— women who lend 
their womb for the duration of 
pregnancy — are certainly a technicaipos- 
sibility before too long, and there may 
even be an "occasional reason why such 
an arrangement would be desirable. 

6 Do you fear test tube 
.babies? Should you? Perhaps, 

but maybe not for 
the reasons you've been told. 

If we ever make it 
to the Brave New World, we're 

likely to have more 
worries than test tube babies.^ 

Some have wondered what would hap- 
pen if either party changed her mind, and 
other such ingenious scenarios. But why 
couldn't a contract- drawn up beforehand 
take care of such issues and also specify 
that, for instance, the surrogate mother 
agrees to avoid substances known to be 
harmful to a fetus, such as tobacco and al- 

People who worry..about surrogate 
mothers, however, are usually worried that 
they will be used to relieve other women 
(usually pictured as those vicious, narcis- 
sistic, hard-driving career women) of the 
inconvenience of pregnancy. Well, 
ma'ybe. But consider these factors 
against it: 

a. To obtain fhe eggs requires abdominal 
surgery, beside which fhe inconveniences 
ofpregnancy seem minor. 

b. The uterine environment is so influential 
that a child "carried by one woman will dif- 
fer from one carried by another, even 
though fhe eggs.and sperm they come 
from are identical. Thus a woman who 
wants "a child of.her^own" will be losing 
something if she limits he;- role to egg do- 

c. She will probably be missing some 
pleasure too. Pregnancy is not a patholog- 
ical condition; it's a normal. female state. It 
often feels good, and so it should. There 
are very few jobs it interferes with. Preg- 
nancy, in fact, is the simple part of being a 
parent. Ask any mother which is harder, 
the first nine months or the next 20 years. 
That's the point at which a-womai who 
wants to avoid inconvenience needs^a 
surrogate mother. 

But the big argument against worrying 
about artificial reproduction — assuming it 
' were technically possible — is that there is 
no sense whatsoever in going to all that 
trouble and expense. Tell me a clear eco- 
nomic reason to reproduce this way and 
I'll join you in worrying, but until you think 
of one, ponder the following: 

a. making babies the usual way is so easy 
that we have to go to some lengths (some- 
times even life-threatening ones) to 
avoid it. 

b. it's also more amusing. 

There may, of course, be economic ben- 

■ efits arising from the use of these tech- 

■ niques in domestic animals. A large cow 
could mother many calves simultaneously, 
just as a prize bull fathers many now, if her 
fertilized eggs were impfanted in less 
valuable surrogates. Orthe embryos 
could be frozen and implanted in a surro- 
gate many years later after her death. 
Which brings us to genetic manipulation, 
a subject so complex and touchy that I can 
give it only the sketchiest attention here. 
But, to allay anxiety on this score a bit: 

a. Precise manipulation of individual 
genes is a long way off — not as long as the 
artificial uterus, but long enough so that 
you can probably safely leave this worry to 
your grandchildren in your will. Manipula- 
tion of characteristics controlled by sev- 
eral genes (height, I.Q., and most other 
things we find interesting about ourselves) 
is a worry they can probably leave to their - 

b. We are not without experience in these 
matters. Genetics, in fact, .is our second 
oldest science (astronomy is our oldest), 
and civilization as we know it is built on the 
purposeful breeding ot animals(for at least 
20,000 years) and plants (for at least. 
1 0,000). Do you like roses? Gorn? Your 
dog? You invented them all. 

c. Any society tightly controlled enough to 
make possible planned breeding of peo- 
ple for specific purposes would be in such 
trouble in so many areas that its reproduc- 
tive methods would be the least of it. 

Worry #7: In vitro fertilization is a break- 
through more psychological than real, but 
it is glamorous and full of human interest 
and therefore captures an inordinate 
amount of our attention. In the process, 
unfortunately, it distracts us from our gen- 
uine and pressing technological prob- 
lems, such as the disposal of nuclear 
waste, the decreasing quality of ourwater, 
and.theproliferation of carcinogens. 
And those.friends, are worries worthy of 
the name. DO